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Reclassification Sees Homeless Figures Fall Slightly


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The reclassification of official homeless figures has seen a slight drop in the number of people in emergency accommodation.

The Department of Housing statistics show 9681 people were homeless last month, 3646 of whom were children.

However the department has taken 600 people in social housing and receiving rent supplement out of the figures, blaming errors in the "reporting model."

If the reclassification hadn't taken place, the numbers in emergency accommodation would have passed 10 thousand for the first time.

Minister Eoghan Murphy said that "a number of local authorities have erroneously categorised individuals and families living in local authority owned or leased housing stock, including in some instances people renting in the private sector but in receipt of social housing supports, as being in emergency accommodation."

"To date at least 600 individuals have been identified as having been categorised as homeless and in emergency accommodation when they are not", he said.

"Some but not all of these individuals have been removed from the total numbers, but work continues with Local Authorities to gauge the total extent of the issue."

"It is quite clear that the current reporting model needs to be reformed as such errors undermine our ability to properly understand the extent and nature of the problem, as well as inform policy decisions around solutions."

Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless says local authorities are being blamed for causing confusion.

"The department is blaming the council, the council is blaming the department... the system is a total mess. If the Minister can't do his job he needs to get out of his office and let someone else in".


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