Cork Simon: "Heading for another winter of increased homelessness"

Cork Simon: "Heading for another winter of increased homelessness"
Cork Simon have reacted to the latest Emergency Accomodation figures warning that we are heading into another winter of increased homelessness.

Cork Simon has warned we are heading for another winter of increased homelessness, following the release of the August Emergency Accommodation figures.

The figures have shown a record high of 583 adults in the South West (Cork and Kerry), an increase of 1% on July's figures.

There was a small decrease in August 2019 to the number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork compared to July 2019 with 419 people counted, three fewer than last month.

There were a record number of men, women and children in emergency accommodation in the Southwest– up 32% in twelve months and an almost three-fold increase since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland in July 2016.

Speaking about the figures, Cork Simon Campaigns and Communication manager Paul Sheehan said he was dismayed.

“It is dismaying to see the numbers of people who remain trapped in emergency accommodation climb again, with a 27% increase in the twelve months to August in the number of adults accessing emergency accommodation in Cork, and a 32% increase in the twelve months to August in the number of men, women and children accessing emergency accommodation in the Southwest (Cork & Kerry).

"August 2019 saw a record monthly high of men, women and children stuck in emergency accommodation in the Southwest.

Mr Sheehan said the figures should be an urgent prompt for the Government to tackle homelessness in the Budget 2020 in October.

"These new figures should be a ‘call to action’ for Government ahead of the announcement of Budget 2020 in October - we are at risk of seeing another winter of increased levels of homelessness, the fourth since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland in July 2016.

"The pace of building much-needed social and affordable homes is too slow and there is an over-reliance on a private rental sector that has long been struggling to cope with demand.

"Budget 2020 is a golden opportunity for the government to take meaningful action to address this. Much more focus is needed on increasing the housing infrastructure that will provide affordable homes if those in housing exclusion and homelessness are to have any chance of weathering the potential economic difficulties that lie ahead.

"New solutions such as the provision of sustainable cost-rent accommodation at the scale required now need to become the new norm in addressing this housing crisis.”

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