Homeless charities have accused the Government of “not being realistic” over the homelessness crisis.
The latest figures from the Department of Housing reveal that 9,846 people were homeless in Ireland in May.
The number of children experiencing homelessness rose by 137 last month to 3,826.
It means the number of children without a home has shot up by nearly 40% over the last year.
New govt homeless figures for May show a shocking 38% increase in the number of children homeless in a year, 2,777 to 3,826 (May 17-May 18). A new record total of 9,846 men, women and children. Government must do more.
— Focus Ireland (@FocusIreland) June 28, 2018
The figures have been called in to question in recent months, after the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy claimed a number of people had been wrongly classified as homeless and removed them from the figure.
It is unclear how many people have been “reclassified” over the past three months – and the Inner City Helping Homeless charity has claimed that the Government is simply attempting to keep the overall figure below 10,000.
Figures for May show 1,712 families ( 34% increase on last year) with 3,826(up 41%) are living in emergency accommodation. 9,846 people in total. Shameful stuff @campaignforleo @MurphyEoghan @KZapponeTD - you have no interest in solving this humanitarian crisis. #MyNameis pic.twitter.com/QCOoGxq1BY
— #MyNameis (@MyNameCampaign) June 28, 2018
“The Minister is clearly not being realistic in regard to homeless figures as we have further increase with 137 children entering homelessness last month,” said the charity’s CEO Anthony Flynn.
“An overall 2% increase is not stabilization.
“The Minister continues to “reclassify” homeless people in order to keep the figure below the 10,000 mark - over 800 have been “reclassified” in recent months.
“The Minister is in denial we need independent oversight on these figure immediately.”
The charity warned that it is “completely unacceptable” that nearly 4,000 children are facing the summer holidays without a home.
The Housing Department said a survey is currently being conducted into the “categorization issue” Minister Murphy said saw some people being counted as being in emergency accommodation when they are in homes.
The survey is due to be completed shortly.
The number of homeless adults rose by 57 from 5963 to 6020.
Meanwhile the number of homeless families rose by 12 from 1712 to 1724.
The number of people in homelessness is up 28% on May 2017. pic.twitter.com/Z0WSRFYcu4
— Peter McVerry Trust (@PMVTrust) June 28, 2018
Minister Murphy said that the increase in homelessness is “very disappointing,” however, he insisted there are indications the crisis is stabilising.
He said the number of homeless families in Dublin fell by 13 in May – while the number of new families presenting as homeless dropped by 79.
He said the increase in child homelessness was due to “the presentation of a number of large families.”
“This is the second month in a row that we have seen this and it is worrying as exit pathways for larger families can be more difficult to secure,” he said.