UPDATE ON GOVERNMENT SUMMIT ACTIONS TO RESPOND TO HOMELESSNESS (DECEMBER 2014) IN THE DUBLIN REGION

The data included in the updates on specific actions, is from the end of year report 2014, which confirms the detail of presentations to homeless services in the Dublin region
A number of key actions arising from the Government Summit on Homelessness in December 2014, led by Ministers Alan Kelly T.D. and Paudie Coffey T.D., have been fully completed or significantly progressed. These actions were implemented by the four Dublin local authorities (lead Dublin City Council) and state-funded voluntary homeless services.
A number of key actions formed an immediate response to the issue of rough sleeping in Dublin, with further actions tackling the more systemic issues in relation to access to housing. They include:

INCREASED BED CAPACITY OF 271 BEDS AND NIGHT CAFÉ LEADING TO REDUCTION IN ROUGH SLEEPING

271 additional beds are now operational in the Dublin region. This brings the total number of beds available for adults across the Dublin region to 1,762 (Data 31st December 2014).
The Dublin local authorities strictly monitor the level and use of bed capacity on a daily basis, in order to ensure that people that may be sleeping rough have access to emergency accommodation.
In total, 84% of individuals rough sleeping also accessed emergency accommodation in Qtr 4 2014. This is a significant increase on the previous two quarters and is as a result of the additional emergency accommodation capacity introduced.
Dublin City Council is actively exploring additional bed capacity options.
A state-funded Night Café is provided by Merchants Quay Ireland, to provide a contact point for persons who do not or cannot access emergency accommodation. It is fully operational and is in place since January 21st 2015. It operates seven nights a week from 11pm until 7.30am (persons can continue to access breakfast and day service after this time).This service has the capacity for 50 persons on a nightly basis.

HOUSING FIRST SERVICE EXTEND ON STREET HOURS TO 3AM WITH TRANSPORT

The Housing First Service , who has responsibility for engagement and responding to the accommodation and support needs of people sleeping rough in the Dublin area have extended their on street service until 3am with transport available to bring persons to accommodation, if required Outreach 086 8139015
There has been a marked increase in the number of members of the public contacting the Housing First Team, to assist persons who are rough sleeping since December 2014. If a member of the public would like to make the Housing First Service aware of a person who may be sleeping rough in the Dublin region contact the confidential weblink on http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough-sleeper.

344 FAMILES RENTING WERE PREVENTED FROM ENTERING INTO HOMELESSNESS DUE TO THE TENANCY PROTECTION SERVICE

There remains a significant presentation of families, who were renting, to homeless services on a daily basis; however, preventative initiatives are assisting in maintaining a number of tenant families in their homes in the private rented sector.
Arrangements are underway to establish a single assessment centre for families who are currently being accommodated in hotels.
The state-funded Tenancy Protection Service, Threshold FREEPHONE 1800 454 454 provided on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities has succeeded in protecting 344[1] tenancies, since the inception of the service on June 16th 2014.
2,910 callers were assisted, with 1607 callers requiring early intervention in relation to their rights as tenants, 1301 families were identified as being at risk of homelessness.
One of the core elements of the prevention initiative is an uplift in the rent supplement payment to households deemed at imminent risk of homelessness due to income inadequacy and rental inflation at the end of their defined lease term.

792 ADULTS MOVED OUT OF HOMELESSNESS IN 2014 REFLECTING STEP-UP IN SOCIAL HOUSING PROVISION

In 2014, 792 adult individuals moved out of homelessness to independent living in tenancies. This is one less than in 2013.
The number of individual adults moving to social housing tenancies reached a high of 204 in Q4 2014, while moves to private rented accommodation fell to its lowest rate yet of just 43 adults in the quarter. This reflects the declining affordability of private rental.
In total, 80% of individuals moving to tenancies in 2014 availed of visiting or on-site support after departing emergency accommodation.
The Minister has issued direction to the four Dublin housing authorities to allocate 50% of all housing allocations to homeless households and other vulnerable groups for the first six months of 2015, having regard to the time spent by these households on the homeless and other housing lists as at 1 December 2014.
2,333 vacant units were brought back into productive use across the country during 2014, of which 729 were in the Dublin region.
Dublin City Council is re-examining its 657 vacant properties which are currently scheduled for demolition, with a view to refurbishing some of them on a temporary basis to address the immediate need of homelessness. Dublin City Council is progressing the proposed redevelopment of the specific sites.

ADDITIONAL KEY POINTS FROM END OF YEAR REPORT ON HOMELESSNESS IN DUBLIN REGION

In 2014, a total of 4,976 adult individuals engaged with homeless services in the Dublin region.
During Q4 2014, 2,660 adult individuals accessed emergency accommodation in the Dublin region
Following the introduction of an additional emergency accommodation capacity of 271 beds during Q4 2014, there was a noted increase in the number of people placed in emergency accommodation on a nightly basis.
The Rough Sleeper Count in November discovered a minimum of 168 adult individuals sleeping rough on the night of November 11th 2014. The next official count will take place in mid April 2015.
[1] Data from interim monitoring report and results for period June 16th 2014 – December 2014
-ENDS-
For further information please contact:
Lisa Kelleher
Head of Communications and Training
Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Dublin City Council
T: 01 2226891/ 087 6154673 lisa.kelleher@dublincity.ie

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