The homeless problem in Limerick is showing no signs of abating - in fact, new figures show that the issues is getting worse, which Maurice Quinlivan says is “extremely worrying”
NEW FIGURES released for Limerick show that it had the most homeless people in the country outside Dublin in September.
Statistics in the Homeless Report 2017, released by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, show that show that there were 315 people homeless in Limerick in September, a figure which has been increasing every month since June.
Limerick’s homeless figures are considerably more than Cork’s at 278.
Labour spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan, has again called on the Housing Minister to take vacant homes into use and include Limerick as a rent pressure zone as a matter of urgency.
“Between September 18 and 24 there were 315 people homeless in Limerick, in a city of 70,000 people, this is a disgrace,” she said.
Addressing the issue of the extensive number of vacant homes across Limerick Deputy O’Sullivan said: “There is a vacancy rate of roughly 10% in Limerick, and as the Simon Community have repeatedly said focusing on this ‘low hanging fruit’ offers a significant opportunity to provide homes for people that need them. Rents have risen by 12% in the last year and people are losing their homes.”
Deputy Maurice Quinlivan described the figures as “extremely worrying”.
“Unfortunately, September’s homeless figures show another rise in the number of people homeless in our state, which now stands at 8,374. Limerick now has 315 individuals that are homeless, a 31% rise from this time last year.
“The number of families homeless in the Mid-West has tripled since the start of 2017, going from 27 families to 81, with the number of children involved increasing from 52 to 152.”
Anne Cronin, Head of Homeless Services at Novas, explained that reducing these figures was very much a partnership approach between Novas, HSE and the local authority.
“We would ask if there are people that are in circumstances that need support get in contact with us or link in with their local services,” added Ms Cronin.