2nd July 2018
COPE Galway again highlight the need for new additional social housing
The publication of the latest figures on homelessness by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government for May 2018 shows no improvement in the situation for the West Region including Galway. In fact it shows an increase in the numbers of families living in emergency accommodation on the April 2018 figures, up from 80 to 82 and an increase in the number of children accommodated as part of these families, up from 216 to 233.
Coinciding with the publication of these latest homelessness figures, COPE Galway have this week released figures from their most recent ‘One Day Census’ of the numbers homeless availing of the organisation’s services. They conducted the census on Midsummers Day between noon on June 21st and noon on June 22nd 2018. The ‘One Day Census’ shows:
- 160 households comprising 82 families including 221 children, 73 single people and 5 couples were either accommodated directly by COPE Galway or placed in various forms of other emergency accommodation including B&Bs and Hotels on that date.
- 16 people who were rough sleeping and a further 15 families and 5 single people who were at immediate risk of homelessness or who were ‘sofa surfing’, staying with friends or family due to non-availability of emergency accommodation were in contact with COPE Galway’s homeless services over this 24-hour period.
COPE Galway’s front line homeless services estimate that there are approximately 20 further single men not in contact with its services over the course of that day who are homeless and in need of accommodation.
‘The shortage of rental housing continues to be especially acute in Galway and rents continue to increase. This is resulting in a growing homelessness situation, one which could get out of control very easily despite everyone’s best intentions and efforts,’ said Martin O’Connor of COPE Galway. ‘New additional social housing is the only solution to the needs of the individuals and families behind the figures from the Department of Housing Report and our own one-day census. But the pace at which the development of this housing is progressing is simply too slow and the numbers of homes being developed – 240 between now and 2020 in Galway City - is too little’.
‘The figures on the numbers of people in emergency accommodation in May published by the Department of Housing and the numbers detailed in the results of our Midsummers Day Census only tell part of the story, unfortunately’, Mr O’Connor continued. ‘What they don’t show are the stories and circumstances of each person and family who are homeless in our city this summer time. Being homeless is an enormously stressful and damaging experience for so many of the people we see each day. The setbacks people face in their efforts to find a home result in a sense of hopelessness all too often. Speeding up the delivery of much needed social housing, so that those without a home are provided for, has to be a priority for all at this time’.
Note to Editor:
COPE Galway is a local Galway Organisation whose vision is an “Improved Quality of Life in a Home of your Own” for people affected by homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic violence, and older people.
In 2017 COPE Galway worked with 1012 adults and 576 children affected by homelessness in Galway, including 242 families and 695 single people. They also worked with 339 individual women and 214 children experiencing Domestic Violence; delivered almost 50,000 meals on wheels to Older Clients around Galway & supported 1,740 individuals through the FEAD programme (Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived).
The organisation joins the national call for solutions to end the housing and homeless crisis. However, while national solutions are being progressed, COPE Galway believes that more immediate solutions can be put in place at a local level.
For more information:
- Published in Press Releases