The national housing charity, Threshold is urging families who are worried about losing their home to call the organisation’s Tenancy Protection Service for information, advice and support.
The appeal follows reports today (25.05.17) that families are being referred to Garda stations as a last resort if they cannot access emergency homeless accommodation, and detail in the recently launched annual report from The Ombudsman for Children, which showed an increase in the number of housing complaints. This included difficulties in accessing suitable accommodation, Traveller accommodation, and issues in relation to Direct Provision.
Commenting, Threshold Chief Executive, John-Mark McCafferty said: “What these reports starkly highlight is the terrible effect that the current housing crisis is having, particularly on children. Every child and their family should have a right to live in secure, affordable accommodation and no family should have to resort to going to a Garda station if they have nowhere else to go.”
“If a family is renting and worried about losing their home we would urge them to contact us immediately for help. The earlier people seek help, the greater the chance that the problem can be resolved. Thankfully, where families do get in touch with us homelessness can be prevented.”
The Tenancy Protection Service, a Freephone service (1800 454 454) provided by Threshold, is a vital service ensuring that families at risk of homelessness throughout Ireland stand a better chance of staying in their current housing without having to seek homeless services.
Mr McCafferty added: “Since June 2014, the Tenancy Protection Service in Dublin has helped 2,846 households remain in their privately rented homes through an enhanced rent supplement payment. At a time when there are over 1,000 households with over 2,000 children in homeless services, the problem would be much worse for families if Threshold’s services were not in place.”
In Cork, many low-income families are finding it increasingly difficult to access private rented housing. Since it was introduced in 2015, the Tenancy Protection Service in Cork has assisted over 2,300 households at risk of homelessness, including 2,117 children.
In Galway, between June 2016 and May 2017, 40 per cent of tenants – many of them families – contacting the Tenancy Protection Service were at risk of losing their homes as a result of being served a notice of termination.
Threshold’s Tenancy Protection Service can be contacted across the country on Freephone 1800 454 454, from 9am to 9pm.
Threshold wishes to acknowledge funding received from the Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019 and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.