The latest homeless figures published today shows that 488 children and 222 more families were made homeless in February 2018. This brings the total number of children experiencing homelessness to 3,755 and the total number of families to 1,739.
The largest increases were in Dublin, followed by the southwest where the number of homeless families increased by 40% in just one month.
Kieran Stafford, SVP National President said; “We cannot underestimate the profound damage homelessness inflicts on children. SVP members visiting families in emergency accommodation see first-hand the impact; toddlers who have developmental delays because they don’t have room to crawl or learn to walk; children who turn up to school so tired that they can’t concentrate because they have to share a room with the older siblings and parents and teenagers who are embarrassed and ashamed about their circumstances and have become withdrawn and isolated from their friends. Our question today is how many more children will have to pay the price for a policy strategy that continues to rely on a dysfunctional housing market?”
“A decisive and comprehensive response to this crisis is needed. This includes enhanced protection for tenants, addressing issues of land hoarding and vacant properties, and prioritising the building of social and affordable housing. Critically, we must stop the continued overreliance on the private sector to meet social housing need.
SVP members are increasingly seeing a huge number of families receiving notices to quit and are stressed by the fear of homelessness. It is clear we need a rapid, public led and housing first approach to this growing emergency. SVP will be joining the public march on 7th April to demand an end to the homeless crisis”, said Dr. Tricia Keilthy, SVP Head of Social Justice.