Housing crisis worsens in Limerick despite €3.75m spend

Limerick homeless numbers increase

DESPITE Limerick City and County Council spending €3.75 million on homeless services this year, the local housing crisis continues to worsen.

That’s the view of Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan who told the Limerick Post that 95 per cent of those calling to his party’s office in Denmark Street are affected by the housing crisis. He said that many of them are at breaking point from the stress of trying to provide housing for their families.

Families are struggling to meet mortgage payments, to find social housing, or are in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and cannot find rented accommodation.

According to Deputy Quinlivan, there has been little signs of the housing crisis being quelled over the last 12 months, with 38 homeless families reportedly in hotel accommodation in Limerick City last Friday.

And he predicted that this figure could rise to 50 in the coming days, at an estimated cost to the State per week of €50,000.

“We had one man in here recently who is sleeping in his car. Teachers tell us that kids are coming to school without lunches because they are sleeping in hotel room without cooking facilities or fridges. It is worse it is getting,” he insists.

Deputy Quinlivan maintains the government simply isn’t doing enough to tackle the causes of the housing and homeless crisis in Limerick.

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“We need real rent certainty and greater protection for tenants. We need 10,000 social houses every year across the state until this crisis ends. We need action on the many vacant properties across Limerick.

“We need to see the price of houses to be brought down, greater action from NAMA to provide social and affordable houses and a moratorium on home repossessions to give a break to those struggling to keep their homes. The government urgently needs to take these key actions in to tackle what is becoming the most urgent housing crisis Limerick has ever seen.”

Limerick City and County Council told the Limerick Post this week that Limerick Homeless Action Team is working with the various approved housing bodies, NGOs and State agencies to deal with the issue of those in emergency accommodation.

“As of the end of April 2017 there were 34 families availing of emergency accommodation. It would in inappropriate to comment on individual costings as they are commercially sensitive, however Limerick City and County Council is spending in the region of €3.75 million this year on Homeless Services,” a spokesman commented.

by Alan Jacques