New figures released to Fianna Fáil Councillor Daithí de Róiste have revealed that more than €4.5m was spent on emergency accommodation for homeless people in Dublin the first six months of the year.
According to information provided to Cllr de Róiste by Dublin City Council, this is more than ten times the spend on emergency accommodation in the entire year of 2012.
The figures show that in just two years, the spend on emergency accommodation in Dublin rocketed from €455,736 in 2015 to €5.4m last year. A new record will be set again this year, with the spend exceeding €4.5m in the first half of the year alone.
Cllr de Róiste has described the situation as “totally unsustainable”.
“These figures are further evidence of the gravity of the housing and homeless crisis in Dublin and the fact that it is being totally mismanaged. The situation has been allowed to spiral so out of control that Dublin City Council has been left with no choice but step in on behalf of the four local authorities in Dublin and take emergency measures to avoid families having to sleep rough,” the Ballyfermot Councillor said.
“Before 2013, emergency accommodation would normally have been provided by housing agencies. But in the past two years the situation has become so grave that Dublin City Council has been forced to book entire hotels on a night by night basis to house homeless families. The Council has told me that this is ‘not a suitable or sustainable solution’ to the housing crisis in the capital.
“At this rate given the monthly increase in homelessness in Dublin, more than €10m will be spent this year on emergency accommodation in the capital. This is a completely false economy. No one benefits from this highly temporary solution that leaves families with no idea where they will stay from night to night. Children are cooped up in totally unsuitable hotel rooms with no cooking or cleaning facilities, no outdoor space and often long distances from their schools. But without government support at a national level, the Council’s hands are tied and all it can do is deal with the immediate nightly crisis.
“Instead of forking out millions on what everyone agrees is a completely inappropriate and inadequate solution, the Government needs to look at the bigger picture. We are still seeing no leadership at Cabinet level to tackle what has become the biggest national crisis of our time. It’s time to stop the empty promises, the platitudes and the false concern and start implementing national policy that will radically increase the availability of safe and suitable social housing in Dublin.”