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26/10/2021

Families in Donegal face homelessness and there is no emergency accommodation, claims councillor

The problem is on the increase due to lack of rental accommodation

Number of homeless families in North East shoots back up in January

Number of homeless families in Donegal on the rise

The housing crisis in Donegal is getting worse, and people are becoming homeless, according to a Donegal councillor.

At the September meeting of the Municipal District (MD) of Donegal, Cllr Michael McMahon (SF) raised serious concerns about the situation. He also pointed out that the lack of emergency accommodation meant that homeless families were being catered for in situations that were far from ideal.

Cllr McMahon put down the following motion: “That this MD has a discussion about the housing crisis which exists at the moment and a discussion about people becoming homeless and needing emergency accommodation.”

He said that one area of concern that had been brought to his attention was landlords coming to people and saying that the house had been sold. 

“This is really concerning,” said Cllr McMahon. “When we ring up and ask about an emergency house there is no emergency house.

“It may be a case of a young mother going into an emergency hostel with her children. It is a big challenge for her to try and get them to school.”

The councillor said there were people all across Donegal who were homeless.

“The way the situation is going, it will get worse,” he said. “It is very sad.

“How we got to this situation, I don’t know but it is serious.”

Cllr McMahon also pointed out that while Donegal people were being encouraged to move home, many of them couldn’t do so because of a lack of housing.

“I am worried about the situation,” he said. “All the councillors are worried.”

The motion was seconded by Cllr McMahon’s party colleague, Cllr Noel Jordan who said: “We have a situation where a family might have to go out on the street.”

Cllr Jordan stressed the need for urgent action from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. 

“To have emergency accommodation you have to be building houses,” he said. “We are not doing it quickly enough.”

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