Sharp increase in number of children living in emergency accommodation

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Sharp increase in number of children living in emergency accommodation

Homelessness is increasing in Kilkenny

Leading children's charity Barnardos is drawing attention to the fact that child and family homelessness is a national crisis as the numbers of children living in emergency accommodation have risen sharply Kilkenny.

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said: “We have seen large increases in two particular regions. The Mid-West has seen a 23% increase in child homelessness, while numbers increased in the South-East by 24%. More is clearly needed to support families in these regions – and tailored supports are necessary. For example, we know that families who end up in emergency accommodation often find themselves located in an area far from their own home and community. This is a major issue in areas where public transportation is limited – resulting in families experiencing greater isolation at a time when they need the most support.

 “The Government also welcomed today a decrease in the number of households waiting for social housing, however we would question whether this necessarily means a genuine reduction in social housing need. It’s likely other factors are at play such as the Department’s policy of funnelling people into HAP or a general lack of confidence in a broken system. Regardless, the fact remains that for 3,824 children the sunny summer days have been clouded by the uncertainty and anxiety of homelessness. The Government needs to provide rapid solutions to limit the long-term damage being done to thousands of children across the country,” she added.