Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Michael Bolton

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive received 122 complaints last year about homeless services.

The organisation works with several NGOs and private companies to run dozens of hostels and other accommodation facilities for homeless people in the Dublin region.

The complaints were made about houses or apartments in use through the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme, drug use in the facilities, while many centered on living conditions in housing.

Alleged unfair treatment from staff and conditions in facilities topping the list.

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry says homeless services are very constrained, claiming sharing a room with several other people is unacceptable.

“If a homeless service has six rooms in it, they will be caked to put two bunk beds into each room to accommodate 24 people, so I think the onus comes back on the Government”, said Fr McVerry.

“At least their own lockable partition place where they can go in at night, know their property is there beside their bed in the morning, know they are not going to be assaulted during the night.

“If someone in the next partition space wants to use drugs, it’s not interfering with them.”

Following the announcement that the eviction ban will not be extended, Focus Ireland says it’s already noticed an increase in calls from people worried about receiving an eviction notice.

The eviction ban will come to an end on a phased basis from the 31st of this month – after cabinet decided not to extend it.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said he believed it was the right choice, but admitted it may lead to a short term increase in homelessness.

Mike Allen from Focus Ireland, also voiced his concerned with the pressure homeless services are currently under.

“We are in the aftermath of Covid, and in effect a complaint policy with recent problems that people are experiencing from homelessness and the services that are supporting them can raise those issues to be resolved is important.”

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