PRIVATE emergency accommodation will cost Kildare over €2m in 2019, which is more than two-thirds of the county’s own, entire annual service provision for the homeless.
Together, the two funds are expected to cost a total of €6.54m for the entirety of last year – equating to a total of 23 new homes per annum (with average house price in Kildare at €282,000).
This came to light following a clarification this week on a motion raised at the recent plenary meeting of the county council.
At that meeting, Cllrs Peter Hamilton and Vincent P Martin asked the Executive to “outline its policies to protect and prioritise…children in emergency accommodation and to give an outline…of expenditure in respect of same”.
In reply, the Director of the Housing Section Annette Aspell explained how the National Childcare Scheme 2019 was being introduced into Kildare, where referrals for children experiencing homelessness are made to the Scheme’s administrator, who in turn provides for each child from a central fund.
Though she quoted the figure of €1.98m for this service at the meeting, it wasn’t until a later clarification revealed this figure was just for the first nine months of 2019 for “private, emergency accommodation (eg. hotels, and B&Bs).
This can now be compared with the “costs for homeless service provision [of] €2,934,648 to 30 September for 2019,” according to the former Director of Housing Tadhg McDonnell, in a reply to Cllr Patricia Ryan at the November meeting.
As Kildare Co Council’s Annual Financial Statement (AFS) for 2019 is still under preparation, full figures for last year will not be available until its publication at the end of March, before presentation to members at the full council meeting in April.