Credit: Dublin Gazette
DUBLIN is facing a tsunami of homelessness once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, campaigners have warned.
Charities fear that thousands more will be out on the street once temporary pandemic measures, including the eviction ban and rent freeze, are scrapped.
Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) chief Cllr Anthony Flynn told Dublin Gazette: “I can see thousands being made homeless in the next few months if the eviction ban is lifted.
“This tsunami has always been inevitable. It’s going to hit us very soon. We need to uphold that ban.”
New figures show DCC failed to meet six out of eight targets on housing in 2019, delivering just 90 new builds instead of the 302 promised.
The number of children in emergency accommodation almost quadrupled in five years to December 2019 to 3,422 – with three quarters of them living in the capital.
ICHH slammed Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy for removing hundreds from the official homeless statistics as they were moved into short-term holiday lets.
Cllr Flynn also accused Dublin City Council of “moving homeless families around like chess pieces” without any real long-term plan.
He said hundreds had been put into holiday apartments and removed from the official statistics – but were not afforded proper tenancy rights.
Warning that families would be back in emergency accommodation when tourism picks up again he said: “These contracts are appalling and evasive to say the least.
“There is a complete lack of security of tenure and no certainty within these contracts for the tenants.
“The council are playing games with people to reduce overall homeless figures. Hundreds have been removed from lists and into short term lets…
“But these people are still homeless. They can be removed from these units to a hotel or B&B at any point. They remain homeless.
“The tourist industry will eventually want these units back. With a one bedroom unit costing €2750 per month, this is mismanagement of public funds.”
Last week it emerged that the number of people looking for help from one city centre charity has increased by 20% in less than a fortnight.
And the Mendicity Institution, which offers food and daytime services to the city’s homeless, warned that the true numbers could be even higher.
Its CEO Louisa Santoro said: “That doesn’t include people that we’ve had to turn away, because we’re not the right service, because our priority is people who are sleeping rough.
“That’s a large number in and of itself.”