Rough sleeper figures released this week does not give true figure of amount of homelessness in city

By Mary Dennehy

FIGURES released this week from the spring count on rough sleeping do not give the “full scale” of the homeless issue in the capital, a local TD has claimed.

On Tuesday, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) released official figures from the spring count on rough sleeping which, taking place across all four Dublin local authority areas, confirmed that 102 people were sleeping on the capital’s streets on the night of April 24.

Dublin Homelessness rough 

These figures represent a 12 per cent increase since winter 2015, when 91 people were discovered sleeping rough.

However, according to the DRHE, the figures represent a three per cent reduction since spring 2015, when 105 people were confirmed as sleeping rough.

Of the 102 people counted on April 24, 84 were male, 16 were female and two were unknown – as they were bedded down and asleep at the time of the count.

Some 64 of those counted were Irish, 17 were non-Irish and 21 unknown, with the highest age profile of those sleeping rough being between 18 and 40 years.

The DRHE does not provide figures per local authority, so The Echo was unable to report on the numbers of rough sleepers bedded down across South Dublin County.

Dublin Mid-West Fianna Fáil TD John Curran is the Chairperson of the cross-party Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness, which, established in April, is tasked with producing a report by mid-June.

Deputy Curran, who lives in Clondalkin, told The Echo: “We are faced with a real challenge and we need to make sure that anybody who does become homeless is homeless for the shortest amount of time possible.

“We need to identify people sleeping rough quickly and get them linked into support services.

“We also need to look at risks of homelessness and examine areas such as rent allowance, landlords in difficulty with the banks or homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages.

“We need to support people to stay in their homes, and try and prevent new people from becoming homeless.”

He added: “Rough sleeping is one aspect of the homeless issue. To try and prevent people from becoming homeless we need to look at all the situations that lead to homelessness.

“These figures don’t really give the full scale of the homeless issue and don’t include people who are living in hotels or other inappropriate accommodation – which gives individuals and families a very limited lifestyle.

“The figures do however, show that urgent intervention is needed for those sleeping rough.

“We really need to do a lot more and the Housing and Homelessness report will be tabling short-term recommendations and a long-term roadmap to housing – which the Government will be challenged to adopt.”

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