As per the new figures revealed by the Department of Housing there are now a record number of people, more than 7,600, listed as being homeless, while some are being directed to ask to sleep in Garda Stations due to lack of emergency accommodation. The numbers also showed that more than 2,700 of these are children. The Government is being urged to come up with immediate measures to address the homeless crisis. Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan said these families need urgent help and suggested the Government should be looking at the vacant properties around the country.
“We have to look for instant solutions in my opinion. There are about 200,000 empty houses in the country at the moment. I think it is about 25 times the number of people who are homeless. So even a fraction of those would make a huge difference and we actually have about twice the average number of empty homes than in comparable European Countries,” he added.
Meanwhile the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal has said new emergency accommodation has been added to the system – to stop families from having to sleep in public parks. It comes after four families slept in parks on Tuesday night, when neither local authorities nor housing charities could find commercial space for them. It is thought to be the first time that emergency accommodation could not be found, in any venue, for homeless families.