Women in emergency accommodation up 165%

Women in emergency accommodation up 165%
A rough sleeper in a vacant shop doorway, Patrick Street, Cork. Photo: Billy macGill

THE NUMBER of women in emergency accommodation in the south-west has reached a record high, according to the latest homelessness statistics released by the Department of Housing.

Rough Sleepers in Cork. Photo: Billy macGill
Rough Sleepers in Cork. Photo: Billy macGill

188 women were in emergency accommodation in the southwest region of Cork and Kerry, a 55% increase in the last 12 months and a 165% increase in the last two years.

The statistics also show that there were 329 adults in emergency accommodation in Cork, a 25% increase in 12 months and a 56% increase in two years. It is the eighth consecutive month that the number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork has exceeded 300 people. In all, there were 430 adults in emergency accommodation in the southwest, a 34% increase in 12 months and a 76% increase in the last two years. 677 of these were men. Ninety-eight families were in emergency accommodation, according to the report, a 48% increase in the last 12 months.

Cork Simon on Anderson's Quay.Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork Simon on Anderson's Quay.Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Paul Sheehan, campaigns and communications manager with the Cork Simon Community, said that the trends are worrying and urged the government to review its current strategies for housing and homelessness.

“For the eighth consecutive month, the number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork has exceeded 300 people,” he said. “We saw the largest monthly number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork in August — and we are just about to head into the winter months. It’s the fifth consecutive month where the number of women being pushed into homelessness has risen.

“It is clear that the governments plan to address the housing and homeless crisis is not working. It needs to be reviewed urgently.”

A number of charities have hit out at the Housing Minister over what they have termed ‘disingenuous’ re-categorisation of homeless figures. It was revealed that more than 1,600 people were removed from official figures earlier this year at the request of Minister Eoghan Murphy, who blamed ‘categorisation errors.’

National figures now state that 9,527 people, including almost 3,700 children, were temporarily living in hotels and B&Bs in August. Without this requested re-categorisation, this figure would have stood at 11,133.

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