Child homelessness up 40% in past year across Cork and Kerry

According to the Department of Housing’s latest Homelessness Report, for August, there are now 486 adults accessing emergency accommodation across Cork City and county.
Child homelessness up 40% in past year across Cork and Kerry

The number of children who are in emergency accommodation in the Cork/Kerry region has increased by just over 40% compared with August last year

CHILD homelessness in the south- west region encompassing Cork and Kerry has risen by 40% in the past year, while the number of adults who are homeless across Cork City and county has increased by 16%.

According to the Department of Housing’s latest Homelessness Report, for August, there are now 486 adults accessing emergency accommodation across Cork City and county (counted in the week of August 22-28).

This number represents an overall increase of 16% on the same time last year, when 418 adults were recorded as homeless.

In the south-west region, which encompasses Cork and Kerry, 74 families were experiencing homelessness in August, including 146 children.

The number of children who are in emergency accommodation in the Cork/Kerry region has increased by just over 40% compared with August last year, when 104 children were without a home.

Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, said that it is “extremely worrying that child homelessness is increasing at these rates”.

“We have to be very clear, these aren’t just numbers,” said Mr Gould.

“Every single one of these is a child who doesn’t know where they’ll trick or treat this year, who doesn’t know where they’ll spend Christmas and, most importantly, who is scared because they have no secure home.

“We need to see real action now before Cork is faced with a situation similar to Dublin where children spend their childhood in hotels.

“That is not good enough,” added Mr Gould.

He said that Housing First and social housing targets in Cork are “low”, and at their current levels mean that “Cork has no chance at overcoming the huge increases in homelessness”.

“I am now calling on the minister for housing to take emergency measures to tackle this crisis and I am calling on Cork City Council to do everything they can to purchase properties and keep tenants in place when they get a notice to quit,” he said.

Nationally, homelessness figures in August reached another record high, as 10,805 people were without a home and were forced to turn to emergency accommodation. The figures included 3,220 children.

Solidarity TD for Cork North Central, Mick Barry, said that increasing homelessness numbers are linked to the ending of the eviction ban put in place during the pandemic.

“Government politicians who supported ending the ban on evictions are directly responsible for the disastrous surge in homelessness,” said Mr Barry.

“With the weather getting colder and winter on the way, the ban must be reinstated immediately.”

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