THE IRISH public have been asked to make vacant properties available to homeless people as the housing crisis continues to devastate the community.
The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) as part of the city council has asked homeowners in Dublin to make any spare properties available to those in need amid the continued crisis in homelessness.
According to BreakingNews.ie, DRHE are seeking help from the public after devastating figures revealed that 79 people died on the streets of the capital last year.
Chief Executive Brendan Kenny said the pandemic "really, really worsened" the housing crisis, and their "only option" is to "source accommodation in the private sector".
Emergency hostels have undergone changes to allow for social distancing, and while it has been a success in some respects, with the DRHE executive saying three people in the homeless community have died from Covid-19, it has led to a shortage in accommodation and more people sleeping rough.
A DRHE spokesperson told the outlet that they are appealing to landlords to make properties available which could house homeless families or be turned into hostels to house individuals.
The number of families in emergency accommodation has dropped since the start of 2020, and while this is "very welcome", the DRHE spokesperson said "there are still far too many families in emergency accommodation, including hotels, and we are very conscious of the challenge that still exists on family homelessness in the Dublin area."
The appeal comes after an RTÉ investigative report showed how people without a "habitual connection" to Dublin were being turned away from emergency hostels, with their only option to return to their home counties or sleep on the streets.
Former Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke has welcomed the initiative but worries that not many people will take up the offer "given rising rent in the private sector".
"There doesn’t seem to be the political will to solve this awful issue," he said.
"These are people’s lives, not just statistics."