A TD has claimed homeless people are being forced on to the streets as a result of being denied access to emergency beds.
Social Democrat Housing spokesman Cian O’Callaghan said a, “significant number are sleeping rough on our streets and in tents.”
He explained: “Organisations working with homeless people report that a significant number of people sleeping rough continue to be excluded from emergency accommodation.
A war of words has broken out between the TD and the Housing Minister and over cases of homeless being reportedly turned away from emergency accommodation.
Darragh O’Brien said on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland on Monday that “no one” is being turned away from emergency housing.
He pointed out that “an extra €60m had been given to deal with homeless services this year because of Covid with nearly a quarter of a billion euro being spent.
Mr O’Brien said: “In every city our winter plan is in place. There is bed capacity and additional capacity. About 4,400 people will exit homeless accommodation this year with 6,000 aimed for next year. It is fully funded. There is no issue with resources.
“If they need to seek emergency accommodation they are not being turned away. We are down on 17 or 18% on homeless numbers from last year. We have dedicated people helping.”
However, Mr O’Callaghan believes the minister’s comments are not correct as he claims that a significant number of homeless people are being forced to sleep rough because they are being denied access. He said: “[This seems to be] for a variety of reasons including implementation of rules – where homeless people who cannot prove a local connection are being turned away. Written and documented evidence of this cruel practice was published last week.”
Deputy O’Callaghan is calling on the minister to go before the Dail to answer questions about why people are being refused access to emergency accommodation.
Homeless charity Focus Ireland, said there were 8,737 people without accommodation at the end of October across the country.
This figure includes adults and children. The number of homeless families has increased by 232% since July 2014 when the monthly figures started being published.