HOMELESS families from North Cork are migrating to Limerick in search of hotel and guesthouse accommodation due to a lack of available beds in their area, according to a senior manager with national housing charity Threshold.
Unlike other areas, Limerick has seen a number of homeless service agencies set up in the city to provide relief to those caught up in the ongoing housing crisis.
However, according to Threshold, local services are under pressure due to increased demand from across the province.
The charity has expanded its outreach services to try to meet the growing demand at a weekly clinic, held every Tuesday, which is being facilitated at the Citizens Information Services building on Henry Street.
Limerick is facing “huge issues in the private rented sector,” said Threshold’s Southern Regional Manager Edel Conlon.
To help cope with demand for those seeking to get on the property ladder, Threshold expanded its outreach services to Limerick city on Tuesday.
Based on the Limerick Citizens Information Services building on Henry Street, the charity is providing a weekly advice clinic for tenants facing difficulties renting in the private sector.
Ms Conlon said that Threshold dealt with 175 cases in Limerick in the first five months of this year, adding that “59 of those related to tenancy termination cases, so this is concerning”.
“We have unfortunately had to turn down a few requests to represent tenants in Limerick” due to demand, and “ideally we would like to have a full—time office here in Limerick”.
She warned that there is “not enough places to meet the need” of families entering homelessness.
And the problem is spreading.
“There are people accommodated all around the Munster and the Limerick area, in hotels and B&Bs. I know in North Cork they are finding it very difficult to find hotels and B&Bs for families who have become homeless. Those families are actually even travelling to hotels in Limerick to be accommodated.”
Citing the recent experience of a homeless family in Cork who had to vacate their hotel room as it was booked to accommodate people attending a concert, she added: “This is the time of the year where there is a lot happening over the summer months, and unfortunately, families are going to be moving from one B&B to the next.
“It’s extremely stressful for people in the private rented sector at the moment, because of the fear of having to face into that,” she explained.