Government ‘undercounting homeless figures by up to 20%’, Sinn Fein claims
Exclusive: Those whose lives are probably most devastated by the scourge of homelessness – rough sleepers – are also excluded from the official count
The Government has been accused of fudging the official homeless figure with the real tally estimated to be 10,552 without a house this Christmas, it has been claimed.
The Department of Housing doesn’t count you as homeless if you are not availing of a service paid for by it.
And, shockingly, those whose lives are probably most devastated by the scourge of homelessness – rough sleepers – are also excluded from the official count.
A total of 52 of these people have died on the street so far this year and there are fears more will lose their lives leading up to Christmas if the weather gets colder.
- Homeless Irish mum in frantic appeal as her and two kids face third Christmas in emergency accommodation
The official homelessness figures are gathered by the Department of Housing and are undercounted by up to 20%, a new report from Sinn Fein housing spokesman, Eoin O Broin stated.
He identified four areas where the hidden homeless are not included in official figures.
And when these people are added to the official numbers, it sees almost 2,000 more join the roll call.
The categories that most people would think should be included as homeless – but are not – are rough sleepers, women and children staying in domestic abuse shelters, homeless people staying in hostels or shelters not funded by the Government and former asylum seekers in direct provision funded by the Department of Justice.
When you count all of the people in these categories, it adds another 1,815 to the total.
This puts the real numbers facing a homeless Christmas at 10,552, Sinn Fein claim.
- TD claims homeless people forced on to the streets as result of being denied access to emergency beds
Mr O Broin told the Irish Mirror last night: “Sinn Fein believe a number of changes must be made in relation to the collection and the publication of homeless data.
“This is not an academic matter. If we don’t know the true level of adult and child homelessness how do we know what resources need to be allocated to tackle this problem?
“Sinn Fein makes four recommendations that we believe would aid the collation of accurate data and in turn an adequate provision of homeless accommodation services.
“Sinn Fein believe an independent agency such as the CSO or the Housing Agency should take over the publication of figures.”
Fred in near desperation wants to add a point to this article. Mental health is at crisis levels in Ireland and most homeless people especially those who fall outside the compilation of figures above, added to people with chronic addictions, are the people who are neglected wilfully by the State. While talking to a young Trinity College Dublin pharmacy student I was greatly alarmed to learn that this young woman knew three people who have recently committed suicide. There is a farmer whose children have taken a double decker bus and reconstructed it and who are trying to raise money for suicide because they recently lost their dad to this harrowing end. News on the street tells me that our Government before the first lockdown decided that figures related to suicides in Ireland would not be released during the COVID-19. Given Mental Health is regarded to be the second Pandemic going on at present, we deserve to be made aware of who commits suicide.