A CORK TD has voiced concern over rising homeless figures and has criticised the "lack of integrated wraparound services" available to individuals.
In a report recently published by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, 402 adults in Cork were accessing local authority managed emergency accommodation during the week of January 25-31.
This is an increase of 17 people compared to the December report which showed that 385 adults in Cork were accessing this type of emergency accommodation during the week of December 23-29.
Cork North Central TD Thomas Gould expressed concern at the rising figures, which had decreased in previous months.
The Sinn Féin TD said the Government must increase its Housing First targets for 2021 in a bid to drive down homelessness.
Housing First provides homeless people with high support needs with housing and the wraparound supports required to maintain a tenancy.
"We are in the middle of a Level 5 lockdown. This is definitely not the time for homeless figures to be rising.
"There is a real lack of integrated wraparound services. Housing First is a policy that has been completely overlooked. "The Government’s approach to Housing First has been unambitious and far from encouraging.
"We need to see a commitment from this Government to increase the Housing First tenancy target," he said.
"What we can’t see now is a month on month creeping up of homeless figures.
"We need to keep reducing these numbers and the only way to do this is to properly implement Housing First," Deputy Gould continued.
Meanwhile, his party colleague Cork City Councillor Mick Nugent also expressed concern over the latest figures.
"Homelessness is another symptom of the housing crisis.
"People desperately need homes but the Government’s failure to support local authorities to build homes is going to keep extending this crisis," he said.
"Instead of inventing new and complicated ineffective schemes, the Government should let Cork City Council, and other councils, do what they have done before.
"Let the councils build homes."