The national housing and homeless charity, Peter McVerry Trust, has welcomed a small decrease in the number of people recorded in the official homeless figures. The August 2020 figures, released this afternoon by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, show that 8,702 were homeless. This is a decrease of 26 people on the July 2020 figures.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust welcome the drop in numbers. “The important thing is that the number of people in homelessness has dropped and that is to be welcomed. We want to see the numbers going down all the time, so any drop is something that moves us in the right direction.”
“As the Minister has already pointed out, the big challenge is securing homes for single people and Budget 2021, which will be published in a couple of weeks’ time, needs to ensure that it promotes and enables greater delivery of one-bed homes. This could include incentivising the delivery of over-the-shop apartment schemes by reducing the rate of VAT on works of refurbishing and re-using vacant town centre spaces.”
“We can see from the monthly figures that the number of adults in homelessness who are single remains stubbornly high. This group is hugely reliant on the delivery of more one-bedroom homes.”
“Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), like Peter McVerry Trust, together with local authorities have a huge role to play in delivering more homes for single people as well as the additional supports many will need on an ongoing basis. Strong consideration should be given to introducing specific annual targets for one-bedroom homes in each local authority so that all providers of housing be they public, private or voluntary can do more to help meet the needs of this cohort.”