PLANS for a homeless hostel in Clondalkin are advancing with news that South Dublin County Council has identified a potential suitable site.
The local authority is in discussions with the Health Service Executive and other housing bodies to support an emergency accommodation facility in the Clondalkin area similar to the one in Tallaght.
The 16-bed Supported Temporary Accommodation service in Tallaght is run by The Peter McVerry Trust, who successfully tendered for the SDCC contract.
The council said: “We are in discussions to obtain funding for the provision of such a facility in the Clondalkin area. We are dealing with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and the HSE in relation to funding.”
Last week, Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind), who set up the Clondalkin Helping Homeless charity, asked for a progress update on plans for the hostel.
He said: “The need for an emergency hostel was raised at several area council meetings and everyone is in agreement on this.”
He also called for an update on the proposed housing plan to tackle the deepening crisis.
A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “The council is in discussions to obtain funding for the provision of such a facility in the Clondalkin area. We are dealing with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and the HSE in relation to funding.
“When funding has been identified and made available it is our intention to seek to provide a facility similar to that in Tallaght. A potential site suitable for the facility is being investigated.
“It is premature to discuss the details of a homeless facility until funding is in place as it will determine the parameters under which any facility will be provided.”
SDCC has committed to bringing a full progress report on all housing plans for the Clondalkin area to the October area committee.
The local authority has around €400,000 towards an emergency hostel – and a further €400,000 towards a refuge for those made homeless as a result of domestic violence – but both funds need a significant top-up.
Elected representatives across all parties have been pressing for both a hostel and a refuge to meet demand in the area.
Local Deputy Eoin O Broin, who is Sinn Fein spokesman on housing, told The Gazette: “The preparatory work is at a very advanced stage and we are really keen that a formal proposal be put to the elected members of South Dublin County Council.
“We in Sinn Fein will be consulting with our constituents on the ground and keeping them up to date on this.
“It is a facility that would meet a really big need in the Clondalkin area and it is a facility that would be run to the highest standards.”
The news comes as the Simon Community revealed that 168 people slept rough in Dublin on Monday night – the highest number ever recorded. The charity’s annual report also showed that there is a 32% increase in those recorded as sleeping rough over the past year.
Deputy O Broin said: “All four Dublin councils are under huge pressure to provide emergency accommodation on a night to night basis. We know that many people are being turned away due to under provision of emergency accommodation.
“There are 42,930 vacant properties across Dublin county, yet to date the Government has done nothing to bring this stock into use.”