Homeless people are turning down offers of a house

Homeless people are turning down offers of a house
People sleeping in a doorway

ALMOST 37% of homeless people being assisted to find housing in Cork county are turning down offers of a home because they deem the property not acceptable or not in a suitable location.

The figures have emerged in an official housing report presented to Cork County Councillors.

Statistics show that 19 tenancies have been created since the Council introduced a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Place Finder service for homeless people in June.

However, seven of these have been rejected due to location and the housing unit being deemed “unacceptable” by the client.

In the southern district of Cork County Council alone, almost half of people have refused accommodation from 15 applications.

The Place Finder Service is a Government initiative and is targeted at supporting homeless individuals and families who are finding it difficult to secure HAP tenancies.

Councillor Des O'Grady (SF) said the system is inefficient as applicants must officially be registered as homeless before they can use the service.

“You have to be homeless before there is any engagement with Place Finders. The Government announced that HAP tenancies would be covered by this and a person leaving a HAP tenancy would be assisted in finding another one,” he said.

“Before they become homeless there is no real support there in any form through this scheme. They are given a notice to quit and they do not receive support,” he added.

A Council spokesperson said: “[The Place Finder Service] is dealing with homeless people only and not those in private rented accommodation.

“The reasons for refusal vary, such as the property is not in a suitable location or the applicants would consider themselves that the units are not acceptable. We continue to work with the families in order to source alternative accommodation and they still remain a priority to find accommodation for them through the Place Finders service,” they added.

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