Tuesday 17 September 2019

Council spend €615,000 in one year on rooms for homeless

Cllr Tom Forde
Cllr Tom Forde

Pádraig Byrne

Wexford County Council spent a total of €615,920 on emergency homeless accommodation in B&Bs and hotels around the county in just one year last year it has been revealed.

The figures, obtained by Sinn Féin councillor Tom Forde, showed that the figure spent on emergency accommodation for homeless people in B&Bs has sky-rocketed from just €12,275 back in 2013.

This follows on from figures published in this newspaper last week which showed that Wexford County Council spent 50 times more on emergency accommodation for homeless people last year than it did in 2013.

While the spend was just €16,911 in 2013, this figure has now risen to €851,181 for last year, with the overall administration costs relating to homelessness rising to €1,178,714. There figures caused a certain amount of shock locally upon their publication, showing the exact scale of homelessness in the county and how it has escalated in just five years.

'It's shocking that Wexford County Council are forced to spend such huge sums of money to rehouse people who have been placed in a vulnerable position,' a dismayed Cllr Forde said. 'B&B's have a valuable role in our community but it is unacceptable to see an average of €54,000 a month being spent on them by Wexford County Council. There must be a better way. Ultimately we need more social housing.'

'I would like to see a change of approach from Wexford County Council,' he concluded. 'We need to take a more people-centred approach in the future and to examine the possibility of building or acquiring housing units dedicated to housing our homeless on a temporary basis until they can get back on track.'

Wexford People

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