Mixed outlook from homeless charities to April figures

Mixed outlook from homeless charities to April figures Fr Peter McVerry

Two of Ireland’s charities tackling homelessness share differing views on their forecast of homelessness in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Statistics from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government show a reduction in the number of people in homelessness for April with 9,335 – a decrease of 572 from March.

On one hand, the Peter McVerry Trust says it is optimistic about this number dropping further in the coming months. “We are seeing some small silver lining coming from Covid-19,” says Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust. And that is a lot of tourist rentals are coming back to us through HAP, long-term leases or purchases.

“If we can keep that up and continue to grow construction delivery, and continue to deliver on the housing first targets we’d be hopeful that numbers might decrease further over the summer months.”

On the other hand, however, Depaul fear there may be a surge in homelessness following the pandemic.

“We must approach this good news with a degree of caution as there is a distinct possibility of more people becoming homeless post Covid-19,” says Dermot Murphy, Director of Services and Development at Depaul.

“Vital measures that have been put in place during this pandemic, such as rent freezes, must remain for a longer period of time if we are to prevent any post-Covid surge in homelessness.

“Efforts must continue to provide adequate housing solutions, protect those currently in homeless accommodations and prevent any further rise in homelessness as a result of Covid-19.”