Homeless figures in South Dublin County still shockingly high

by Padraig Conlon

The number of people homeless in South County Dublin area is still above 600, and shows no sign of reducing.

This is according to the latest figures which show that as of 30th September, there are now 624 households registered as homeless in South Dublin County.

Of those 265 are families, 13 are couples, 284 are single males and 62 single females.

The figures were released, following a question by People Before Profit Councillor, Madeleine Johansson at the October County Council meeting on Monday.

Councillor Johansson had called on the Chief Executive to provide a report on the number of homeless in South Dublin County, including a breakdown of families/individuals and what type of emergency accommodation are being accessed.

“The fact that the homeless numbers are not reducing shows the complete failure of the Fine Gael government’s housing plan,” Cllr Johansson told Dublin Gazette.

“They have used the excuse of Brexit to do nothing in relation to housing in Budget 2020. This means that we will continue to see high levels of homelessness for many years to come.

“There is a huge need for one-bed units for single people in South Dublin.

“It’s positive that 6 one-bed homes in Clondalkin were approved at the October council meeting, however this doesn’t come near to being enough.

“High market rents disproportionally affect single people who have become priced out of the market.”

In response to Cllr Johansson’s question, the Council explained what they were doing to help local people experiencing homelessness.

“The council’s Homeless Unit provides assistance to persons who find themselves homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless,” they said.

“The unit operates an advice clinic in County Hall, provides outreach and place-finding services across the County, as well as advising on emergency accommodation options including central placement, self-accommodate, family hubs and other supported accommodation.

“The unit will also organise emergency accommodation for those assessed as homeless through the Assessment and Placement Service.

“Families presenting as homeless can be given the option to self-accommodate in hotels/B&Bs etc, while single people are provided with emergency accommodation through hostel-style accommodation with shared rooms.

“All homeless applicants have access to Homeless Housing Assistance Payment support to assist with securing private rented accommodation, and this process is supported by our place-finding team.

“The Housing Department, in conjunction with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and other partners, continues to assess locations and properties throughout the County for use as appropriate emergency accommodation for single persons and families, while additional options to support persons moving on from supported temporary accommodation are also explored on an ongoing basis.

“In addition, the council is also committed to the provision of housing first tenancies where appropriate.

“Housing supply is ultimately the key solution to the current housing/homeless situation, and this involves delivery of social homes through our construction programme, complemented by acquisition, Part Vs and through various leasing options and the private rental market.

“This is supported by the Housing Department continuing to maximise the effectiveness of existing and new social housing stock through allocations and transfers, to help address the challenges provided by the current situation.”

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