Number of new homeless people rises by at least 7 a day
Budget cuts via Shutterstock
THE IRISH GOVERNMENT needs to ‘put people first’ in its Budget for 2014, and avoid forcing more households into homelessness, Focus Ireland has said.
In its pre-Budget 2014 submission, it said that there has been a rise of over 23 per cent in the number of people seeking Focus Ireland’s support since 2010.
Last year, more than 8,000 people turned to the charity for help.
Focus Ireland is now calling on the Government to invest €400 million to help deliver 3,000 homes and boost the economy by creating up to 3,200 jobs in construction and supply.
It said that seven new people are becoming homeless in Dublin every day, while the number of families becoming homeless in the capital has doubled from 8 to 16.
In addition, it says that it is becoming harder for people to move out of homelessness due to severe unemployment, funding cuts to services and a growing shortage of affordable housing.
It pointed out that there are currently over 100,00 households on the social housing waiting list.
According to Focus Ireland, it is vital that Budget 2014:
kick starts a process of reform which will implement policies and deliver services to prevent people from losing their homes and help others to escape from homelessness.
It also calls for no further cuts to homeless services in the coming Budget.
The report outlines a number of specific actions for the government to take in Budget 2014, including:
- No further cuts in Department of Environment or HSE funding for homeless services.
- Maintain social welfare payment for people of working age.
- Ensure that family and child income supports are not reduced for low income families, including those in low paid employment and dependent upon Family Income Supplement.
The proposals will be presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance tomorrow at 11.30am.