One in five homeless ‘not counted’, says Sinn Fein report

by Gazette Reporter
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The official homeless figures gathered by the Department of Housing are undercounted by up to 20%, a new Sinn Fein report claims.

SF housing spokesman Eoin O Broin says he has identified four areas where the hidden homeless are not included in official figures.

And when these people are added to the official numbers, it sees almost 2,000 more join the damning tally of those without a permanent roof over their head bringing the total to 10,552.

The Dublin West TD published a document which he said indicates the true level of those experiencing homelessness – at least one fifth higher than official stats show.

He said: “The most recent figures published for October 2020 show 6,905 adults and 2,642 children living in hubs, hostels, hotels and B&Bs.

“The figure of 8,737 includes adults and children in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation. However, there are adults and children in emergency accommodation funded by other government agencies; including Tusla and the Department of Children.

“According to the latest figures available there are still 1,020 people, 709 adults and 311 children, living in Direct Provision centres despite having been granted some form of leave to remain.

“For these families, Direct Provision has become a form of emergency accommodation while they search for alternative accommodation.

“In terms of women and children living in domestic violence accommodation, we unfortunately do not have figures for 2019, but information from Tusla indicates that, on any given night, there are 599 beds available in the system and these are usually at capacity.

“The 100+ people staying in emergency and transitional accommodation providers, such as Morning Star and Regina Coeli that are not funded by the State, are also not counted.”

Deputy O Broin called for the monthly figures to set out the number of rough sleepers, those in domestic violence accommodation, all those in emergency accommodation and those in non-government funded hostels.

He believes an independent agency such as the CSO or the Housing Agency should take over the publication of figures.

And he called for an all-encompassing approach to tackle the housing crisis. He said such an approach if resourced and implemented properly would stop the cycle of homelessness by safeguarding tenants and empowering local authorities.

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