Significant fall in the number of Cork people seeking emergency accommodation

Significant fall in the number of Cork people seeking emergency accommodation

The number of people presenting themselves as homeless in Cork city has fallen by more than 300 in a month.

The number of returning to the Homeless Persons Unit to seek emergency accommodation in hotels and B&Bs fell from 956 to 648 in February.

City Council director of housing Brian Geaney said the reduction is the result of a concerted effort to find more permanent solutions for accommodation for people who are registered as homeless. He expects the numbers to further reduce this month.

“What this shows is that we are putting more stable arrangements for people in emergency accommodation. In other words, they do not have to present to us on a daily basis as was the case previously,” he said.

“I think that is a very important initiative and we expect the numbers to be reduced even further going forward,” he added.

The local authority took over the running of the Homeless Persons Unit in January from the HSE.

The numbers of unique individuals seeking emergency accommodation also fell last month with 445 people presenting themselves to services with no fixed address - down from 465 in January.

However, there has been no reduction in the number of families seeking shelter with 76 still without a permanent home, while the number of people in emergency accommodation for six months or longer has also risen to 94 - up from 89 in January.

Councillor Thomas Gould has warned that the housing list will go beyond 4,000 applicants sooner rather than later with just 50 housing allocations this year so far, compared to 200 new applicants for social housing.

The council has been set a target of building 2,200 homes by 2021. More than 450 homes are currently in construction in the city with a further 560 in the planning stages.

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