Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has welcomed a further reduction in the number of people in homelessness. It comes as the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government published the official homeless figures for April 2020. It shows that there were 9,335 people homeless at the end of April, a reduction of 572 on the previous month.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We’re delighted to see fewer people in emergency accommodation in April, the fourth consecutive monthly fall in people in homelessness. There has been progress made in securing more homes for people to move to and we have also seen the number of people presenting as homeless decline during COVID-19.”
“Peter McVerry Trust has been working hard, in partnership to secure homes with the Department of Housing, the DRHE and Local Authorities, to identify, secure, and deliver new homes for people in our services and to others in emergency accommodation. We have continued to get people into homes across a number of streams from HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) properties, to long-term leasing and newly acquired homes. We have also seen an uptick in new homes completed this year and allocated by housing associations and local authorities.”
“Since the beginning of 2020 Peter McVerry Trust has helped to support 275 households into a long-term home with almost half of those securing a traditional social housing tenancy from a local authority or approved housing body. “
“We have been able to support 48 families, 35 of whom have progressed from our own family hubs which are run in partnership with the local authorities, 163 single people including people housed as part of Housing First, and 4 care leavers, a group who are particularly vulnerable.”
Housing First Helping Rough Sleepers and Long Term Homeless
Mr Doyle also confirmed that its Housing First projects which operate in four regions across Ireland and form part of the Government’s National Housing First plan have been able to generate 61 new tenancies since January.
“We are delighted that the Housing First programme continues to develop and grow across all four regions that we deliver in. This programme, which is overseen by the National Director of Housing First, and supported by the Department of Housing, is critical in getting rough sleepers and long-term homeless people into their own homes in a sustainable way.”
Greater Availability of Housing
“Since the onset of COVID-19, we have definitely seen an improvement in the availability of housing, particularly in Dublin. While things can improve across the housing system in terms of more supply, we are definitely seeing some small silver lining coming from COVID-19 and that is a lot of tourist rentals are coming back to us through HAP, long term leases or purchases. If we can keep that up and continue to grow construction delivery, and continue to deliver on the housing first targets we’d be hopeful that numbers might decrease further over the summer months.”