The national housing and homeless charity, Peter McVerry Trust, has welcomed news from Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive that the number of families in homelessness in the city is at its lowest point in three years. The charity believes that better construction output and greater availability of rental accommodation have played key roles in reducing the number of families in homelessness.
The CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, Pat Doyle said “The decline in the number of families in homelessness is not a huge surprise. We’ve seen a significant increase in the availability of housing units as the social housing and private building programmes ramped up in Q1 2020. In the first quarter the CSO figures show almost 5,000 new housing units completed across the country. That has had a big impact as DCC can secure and allocate more homes to people as can approved housing bodies like Peter McVerry Trust.”
“Peter McVerry Trust has a number of active projects for housing for single people and families across Dublin, and indeed elsewhere, more and more of which are coming on stream and allowing us to offer homes to people in emergency accommodation.”
“From early March we’d have begun to see an increase in the availability of housing units available to rent, these units had been used by the short term letting market for tourists and students, now they are going to people who need a long term home. There are hundreds of extra units on the market many of which are benefitting people with a social housing need and helping Peter McVerry Trust find new homes.”
“The other element is that because of COVID-19 there are fewer families and people presenting to homeless services. This is because they are trying to hold their accommodation and many of these will be staying with family and friends and are likely to be in overcrowded accommodation. The challenge now is to make sure we engage with that cohort so that they can secure a home from the place they are staying now rather than having to come to homeless services at some point in the future.”