THERE are currently 259 homeless families in Fingal, with 181 of these in emergency accommodation, according to Fingal County Council chief executive Paul Reid.
This has risen 27% from January’s figures, which showed that there were 204 homeless families then, with 150 in emergency accommodation.
Cllr Matt Waine (AAA) said these figures are “shocking”. He said: “Unfortunately, I can only see that figure rising in the coming months as the Government’s housing strategy has been exposed as a fraud.
“The fact that there has been virtually no council houses built in Dublin 15 underlines that fact. Nothing short of an emergency mobilisation of resources is now called for.”
Cllr Brian McDonagh (Lab) also commented on the figures, to which he said there is “no quick fix”, and that “the root of the problem is a structural and Constitutional one in the construction, planning and property sectors”.
He said: “The short-term measures needed lie in a mixture of rapid delivery modular-built homes, [the] purchase of private dwellings both directly through the council and through housing associations, and through long-term leasing programmes to deliver security of tenure.”
Cllr McDonagh said that he thinks Acting Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly was “correct when said we need a Constitutional change to implement a long-term solution to these appalling problems”.
However, Cllr Waine said that Minister Kelly “continuously promises more houses, but people can’t live in empty promises”.
He added: “It is delusional to hope that private developers and bankers are going to resolve the lack of homes. Only a massive State programme with the mobilisation of all necessary resources can resolve the issue.”
Cllr Paul Mulville (Ind) said that the homeless situation in Fingal is “an absolute disgrace and needs urgent attention from all relevant authorities”, and said that the impact that homelessness had on those experiencing it had “long-term impacts on people’s mental health, and has severe consequences on the social, educational and personal development of children and young people”.
He added: “There are a huge amount of empty buildings and land in State ownership across Fingal and Dublin, and an urgent audit needs to be carried out of these to see how these can be utilised to address the housing and homeless crisis.”
A spokesperson for Fingal County Council told The Gazette that the council is “in regular contact with homeless families or families facing homelessness to provide them with housing advice and support”.
The council said they are also “actively engaged with homeless persons and families to inform them with respect to housing support options to exit emergency accommodation”, and that this year, to date, “40 allocations have been made to homeless/vulnerable households, with further allocations to take place shortly”.