THE number of families stuck in homelessness in Cork is expected to rise again following a drop in figures over the Christmas period.
The latest figures from the Department of Housing revealed that the number of children and families in emergency accommodation here decreased by 14% in December, but Cork Simon has warned that these figures will spike again when the January data is released.
The homelessness charity said some families can avail of temporary stays with relatives for Christmas but are often back in emergency accommodation in January.
Despite the drop in family numbers, the figures for December revealed an increase of 3% in the number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork.
There were 103 families in emergency accommodation in Cork and Kerry in December, along with 373 adults.
The number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork has increased by 30% over the last twelve months and by 44% in two years.
There were 296 adult men in emergency accommodation in December — a record monthly figure. This represents an increase of 44% in two years.
Mr Sheehan said that single men are particularly disadvantaged when trying to secure private rented housing.
“They are entirely dependent on one-bedroomed flats that are in very short supply. There would be no more than a handful on the rental market each month.
“In any case, the average monthly rent for a one-bed apartment in Cork is in excess of €1,000, well beyond the reach of anyone depending on Rent Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment,” he said.
Another significant figure is the number of people in private emergency accommodation such as B&Bs and hotel rooms.
The numbers in this situation have been rising steadily, to 265 adults in the latest figures.
Mr Sheehan said: “Based on what we’re experiencing on the ground, it’s most likely the trends will continue.
“It’s very frustrating to see the figures constantly increasing. While there are plenty of success stories of people exiting homelessness and getting their lives back together, it’s very much overshadowed by the number of people being pushed into homelessness and depending on emergency accommodation.”