THE number of homeless families in Cork city has jumped by more than 40% in the last three months.
The latest housing figures from Cork City Council showed 78 families in emergency accommodation in October, up from 54 in August.
The housing crisis was the main topic of debate at last night’s City Council meeting, as the members addressed what councillor Thomas Gould described as “the worst housing report in Cork city’s history”.
There were 453 people in emergency accommodation in the city in October, an increase of 100 since June. 80 people have been in emergency accommodation for at least six months, and a further 62 have been there for at least six of the last 12 months.
Numbers on the housing list also continue to rise, with 99 new applications in October, bringing the total to 3,916.
Councillors signed off loan facilities for nine different projects to provide accommodation in various parts of the city, including 80 units at Redforge Road, in Blackpool. These developments were welcomed by councillors, but there was widespread acknowledgement that more needs to be done.
Councillor Tim Brosnan said there were many other people who did not appear in the figures, because they were living with family, but were unable to set up their own home.
“The number of people without a home of their own is enormous. This state has singularly failed and young people in Ireland should be very angry,” he said.
He also suggested that corporate multinationals, who benefited from low tax rates, should take some responsibility for housing their staff.
A City Council official said it is on track to meet and exceed the housing targets it had been set, but said the crisis could not be solved without additional private development.