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Focus Ireland: Government must act to ease crisis

Thursday, 3rd August, 2017 9:06am

Ten years on, Focus Ireland has seen a steady rise in numbers presenting and of those who are at serious risk of losing their home in Cork.

Focus Ireland Cork Manager Ger Spillane said: “We are playing our part to support people in housing need and those who are homeless around the country. Our staff in Cork also work to help keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless through our tenancy support and settlement service.”

Focus Ireland believes that homelessness is wrong. The charity said that it works hard to tackle and prevent homelessness in Cork in partnership with Cork County Council, Cork City Council, social services and other bodies.

Locally, it provides accommodation for 30 homes for families and individuals who were previously homeless, or at risk. It says it is going to treble the number of homes they provide by the end of 2019, to 90, thanks to the support of the Housing Finance Agency.

Also, since 2014, the homeless charity has supported 50 young people find homes, 19 through Focus Ireland accommodation and an additional 31 through outreach. The charity says that the major change in recent years has been the fact that many families and individuals are now losing their homes - mostly private rented accommodation - and becoming homeless purely for economic reasons.

Focus Ireland says that the State must move from managing homelessness towards ending it, in order to get to grips with the crisis. It also said the Government review of Rebuilding Ireland - to be concluded in September - must include immediate action to ease the rental crisis and also get more vacant homes back into the housing stock.

Mr Spillane added: “We need firm action on these matters and are not more watered down ‘half-way’ house policies that are hammered out to try and keep all parties happy but end up failing everyone.

The soaring cost of rent locally, coupled with a shortage of supply in Cork city and county, is also a major concern. If people are in difficulties with their rent, mortgage or housing situation in Cork they should contact Focus Ireland at 021-4273646 or they can drop into charity’s offices, at 27 South Mall in the city.

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