Homeless people in emergency accommodation in Limerick hits 'historic high'


Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Homeless people in emergency accommodation in Limerick hits 'historic high'

Novas Initiatives and the Homeless Action Team opened a 15-bed winter initiative hostel on Lord Edward Street

THE NUMBER of homeless people in emergency accommodation in Limerick has reached an “historic high”, Deputy Maurice Quinlivan has stated, following a report published by the Department of Housing.

The monthly report shows that there are 257 adults in emergency accommodation in Limerick, and there is an estimated 77 children availing of these services in the city.

“This is unfortunately a historic high. The Government needs to speed up the delivery of social housing to meet the growing number of people in emergency accommodation,” Deputy Quinlivan said on Sunday.

In the December report, the Department of Housing recorded 219 homeless adults in Limerick. Deputy Quinlivan, condemning the 40-person jump in the figures, called on the Government to tackle the growing problem by purchasing property offered for sale by AIB and PTSB.

“To date funding has only been approved for 200 of these units and contracts signed on only 30. 

“Across the State, for the first time since these monthly figures were collated, we now have more than 7,000 people in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation.

“These figures are not exhaustive as they don’t include adults and children in Túsla funded domestic violence emergency accommodation, non-Irish nationals in emergency accommodation funded by the New Communities Unit of the Department of Social Protection or the 400 families trapped in Direct Provision despite having their ‘Stamp 4’ visas. 

“The Minister needs to act and buy these 1,000 units or explain to the Dáil the reasons why he has chosen not to take families out of emergency accommodation and put them into houses that are lying empty.”

A 15-bed winter initiative hostel opened before Christmas, on Lord Edward Street, and will run until March. This is a joint venture by Limerick City and County Council’s homeless action team and Novas Initiative’s homeless services. 

The service will be reviewed again in March.