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24/10/2021

'Shocking': Thirteen children to spend summer holidays homeless in Carlow, says councillor

The number of homeless in Carlow has consistently averaged at around 30

Carlow

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The latest report from Carlow County Council has shown that 18 more people presented as homeless in June 2019.

The homeless figures also include 13 children, newly elected People Before Profit Councillor Adrienne Wallace has said.

"It is shocking that some children will be spending their summer holidays in emergency accommodation and is calling the consistently high numbers of those pushed into homelessness as unprecedented," she said. 

Cllr Wallace added: "The number of homeless in Carlow has consistently averaged at around 30 and many more people are not being recorded.

"There is a cohort of people who are forced to coach surf or live in overcrowded accommodation, and if these hidden homeless were counted we could see those numbers rise drastically.

"This is unprecedented for Carlow and cannot be allowed to continue."

Cllr Wallace added that the Housing Assistance Payment (HAPs) is "not fit for purpose".

"Most of the time the HAPs will only cover €700-800 of the rent for a family, but as we know rents are consistently rising and in Carlow many are well above €1,200 in many cases.

"This usually means that single mothers are not only paying their rent to the council but are forced to top the landlord up while trying to budget for things like childcare and food, it is just unfeasible. 

"Fr Peter McVerry estimates that nearly €2million is paid from the state directly to private landlords – we need to stop the profiteering of private landlords and start prioritizing the needs of people in Carlow by opening the vacant homes and building on public land.

"Every child deserves a safe place to sleep."

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