Thursday, October 03, 2019

ONE hundred and thirty six children are currently living in emergency accommodation in Co Kildare with just under a third of those having spent between 12 and 30 months there, alongside 96 adults.

In response to a motion tabled from Social Democrats Councillor Aidan Farrelly at last week’s meeting of Kildare Co Council the housing department has committed to providing a monthly update to councillors on the levels of homelessness in the county.

Pointing out that 27% (37 children)  had been in emergency accommodation for between 12 and 30 months Cllr Farrelly said: “Two-and-a-half years in a child’s life… spent in a hub or hotel room.

“I won’t be shining any new light on the situation by today claiming that we are in the midst of a housing crisis that continues to worsen month by month. Indeed, since the election the vast majority of people contacting me do so with a housing query.

“They do so because they are under threat of eviction – they and their families are at risk of, or have become homeless.

“In response to the July homeless figures, our Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy managed to put a positive spin on these by claiming that there’s fewer children in emergency accommodation today than this time last year. The bar for success in the National Department of Housing is worryingly low.

“We also learned today that there’s 61 vacant homes in the county, may of which require considerable works in order to be allocated. I’d ask that the works needed on these houses are expedited and those children who are living in emergency accommodation are prioritised for allocation of same.”

The report presented at the meeting noted that in total there were 94 adults and 136 dependents over a 30-month time period – 61 of those households had dependents. A timeframe of between zero and six months was flagged for 49 adults and 64 dependents (32 households with dependents) while, at the other end of the scale, two adults and six dependents (two households with dependents) have been in such accommodation for between 24 and 30 months.

The figures are much smaller in terms of families in ‘own front door’ emergency accommodation, with a total of 17 adults and 36 dependents (10 households have dependents). One household featuring one adult and four dependents has been in such accommodation for between 0-6 months while seven adults and 17 dependents have been there for between 24 and 30 months (four households in this category have dependents).

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