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Latest Department of Housing figures reveal record number of people living in emergency accommodation

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Despite all the recent Government platitudes and promises the number of people living in emergency accommodation reached a record high last month.

Latest figures released yesterday by the Department of Housing reveal that in September 8,374 people accessed emergency accommodation. 3,124 of these were children.

While the overall homeless population increased by 104, the Department of Housing say their figures also show a slight decrease in the number of homeless families.

However, nationally the number of homeless families increased in September by 89, and the number of families in hotels and B&Bs was 690.

The situation in Dublin has improved ever so slightly however homeless charities say this is being offset by ever increasing homelessness in the rest of the country.

The Department of Housing has said that there were 2,000 exits from emergency accommodation in the first six months of 2017.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the Department would continue to move families into hubs in an effort to decrease the number of homeless families.

He said:

“Thankfully we have five new family hubs in Dublin and a further three new hubs in Limerick and Cork coming on board from our expanding hubs programme by the end of the year; at least 180 families will be accommodated in these hubs.

“We will continue to move families out of hotels and into hubs. More importantly, we will move families into homes as well. Hubs are better than hotels but they are only a first response.”

Homeless charity Focus Ireland say the Government needs to change current legislation allowing landlords to terminate tenancies at short notice, which they say is the “single largest” cause of homelessness.

Mike Allen, Director of Advocacy at Focus Ireland, said:

“We have been pleading with Minister after Minister to close off this loop-hole and protect families in their homes, but with no result.

“Unless action is taken to deal with this issue, all our efforts to support families out of homelessness will be futile.”