Homelessness and housing list increase in Tipperary

Thursday, 23 November 2017

THE numbers of homeless people and those on the social housing waiting list have increased this year in Tipperary.

This month's meeting of Nenagh Municipal District was told by a member of the Council Executive that there were 410 homeless presentations to the Council in 2017. She pointed out that while this is a regrettable increase, many of the 410 people presented as homeless in 2016 as well.

"Our staff," she commented, "is dealing very compassionately with those who present, which is as it should be. We have also had meetings with the HSE seeking more funding to deal with the problem."

She said the Council has two homeless action groups who are constantly reviewing the various cases. The action groups are also liaising closely with the Simon Community and Focus Ireland.

"The situation is different to Dublin," she remarked. "It is not as severe as Dublin. But we are monitoring it closely all the time."

The homeless figure in Tipperary rose from 25 in 2010 to 426 in 2016 and reached more than 500 at the end of 2016. It dropped significantly earlier this year but now, unfortunately, has risen again.

The meeting was told that there are about 2,800 people on the waiting list in the whole of the county. The number of people on the list in Nenagh Municipal District is 693 which means that it is unacceptably high and is heading the wrong way. In July 2015 there were 637 on the Nenagh MD list. In July 2017 there were 656 people on the list.

 A member of the housing executive told the councillors that they are using "every strand available to us to reduce the housing list."

"Your work," commented Cllr Seamus Morris, "has been made very difficult since the mental health services in central Tipperary collapsed. You have been very good when working with people with mental health issues, who have been let down by society or have gone the wrong path."

The councillor said he works with Carmha which provides assistance to those suffering from mental health and addiction issues. He said Carmha is holding a recovery awareness night in Nenagh Arts Centre on Thursday, November 23 at 8pm. "This is a free event open to all," he remarked. "It will inspire everyone that recovery is possible."

The housing officer said that their remit is to deliver as many houses as possible. "Nationally," she said, "the plan is to deliver 40,000 to 50,000 houses within the next few years."


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