Homeless families find bugs in hotel

by Gazette Reporter
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Deputy Ruth Coppinger (SP) has called for inspections of all hotels being paid public money to accommodate homeless families, after a local family showed her video footage of cockroaches in the room in which they were staying.
She has uploaded the video to her Facebook page in order to highlight the conditions many families are living in. She said that this has led to the contraction of infections in many cases.
“I’m horrified having seen video evidence of cockroaches in the bedroom and shower of a family in a Dublin hotel receiving taxpayers’ money over a long period. How much is being paid by Dublin City Council to ‘hotels’ who ignore complaints about cockroaches? What sort of hotel in this century doesn’t even provide a TV in rooms? Why is a kettle too much to ask for?” she said.
She went on to say that she recently held a meeting in her constituency office in Blanchardstown with 10 local homeless families.
“Some are in better conditions than others but all report bed-wetting and even soiling by their children due to stress of being homeless. Infections of impetigo, eczema and lice are widespread in some accommodation centres. Children’s physical and mental wellbeing and their ability to access an education is clearly unimportant,” she said.
She intends to ask Dublin City Council a number of questions including: how much they have paid to the premises where these cockroaches were recorded; whether they will carry out unannounced inspections; whether they will allow outsiders or media in to view all premises; and where they will safely re-accommodate families.
“I will be assisting homeless families in calling a meeting in Dublin West shortly, followed by further action to demand: no evictions; rent controls now; the release of all Nama hotels, housing and lands; and public investment to build thousands of council homes,” she said, and asked: “When is this Government going to act on the housing emergency?”
Speaking to The Gazette, chief executive Pat Doyle of the Peter McVerry Trust, pointed out that in 2014 the group trust called for more attention to be paid to the impact that inappropriate accommodation was having on families and children in particular.
“The local authorities are under huge pressure to try and find places for people to stay and are in very difficult position. What everyone wants to see is action on rents and action on fast track housing solutions. At the end of the day the first thing a homeless person needs is a home.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Environment said: “Some €4bn is available to spend in this area. Within this, the combined funding total for the Dublin local authorities comes to over €500m. As part of the delivery under this €500m programme for Dublin, €117m was allocated to the four Dublin local authorities on May 5 in respect of 19 build projects, which will see the development of 566 new units of accommodation.”
A spokesperson from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive responded saying: “It is important to clarify that inspections are carried out within emergency accommodation and there is in place a regional ‘facilities management team’ that are tasked with this important function. All complaints made in respect of standards are followed up and providers are instructed to rectify concerns where standards fall short of what is expected.”

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