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Covid 19: Fears for homeless families when tourism industry re-starts

Credit: News Talk

The head of a homeless charity says there is big concern that when hotels re-open to tourism, homeless families will have nowhere to go.

Hotels, B&Bs and other places have been providing accommodation to homeless families for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 1,100 families in the Dublin area are being housed in hotels, B&Bs and family hubs through the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE).

Anthony Flynn is a Dublin city councillor and CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH).

He told Sean Moncrieff: “Pre-COVID the biggest issue is that many of the individuals that would have been in homeless accommodation are now being supported – or an attempt to support those individuals – in individual room settings which has put a strain on the hostel system.”

“We got a report from the deputy chief only last week to say there’s a limited number of rooms now available through the system, after only five weeks ago we saw 1,000 bed spaces being made available into that same system”.

“At the moment we’re in a position now… many of the hotels across the city are full to capacity with individuals that would normally be accessing homeless services.

“I suppose my fear is – and we’ve asked for clarity from Dublin City Council in regard to this – is what’s going to happen when the tourist market comes back online, which it will.

“The city is dependent on tourism; we require tourism in order for this city to function at an amenable or plausible level.

“I suppose it’s the case now that when that does happen, what’s going to happen to the individuals and the families that are in those hotels and B&Bs across the city.”

He said they have not had a reply as to what the plan maybe.

“The fact is that many of the accommodation units that have been taken at the moment are Airbnb units – and that’s been indicated by the deputy chief executive.

“My fear is that what’s going to happen is that these Airbnb units are obviously not on the market for long-term letting, and that many of the individuals that are going into these units assuming that this is going to be their forever home – or even on a long-term basis – will end up back in hotels or B&Bs or family hub facilities across the city.

“There’s a big fear that we’ve jumped in with both feet here in terms of the accommodation that has become available, but how long that accommodation is going to be available for is the main question”.

Main image: Twitter/@ICHHDUBLIN
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