A rough sleeper is seen on a street corner in downtown Dublin, Ireland, Nov. 30, 2018. The number of the homeless people in Ireland stood at 9,724 as of the end-October of this year, up 14.5 percent while compared with the same period last year, according to a report released here on Thursday. (Xinhua)
DUBLIN, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The number of the homeless people in Ireland stood at 9,724 as of the end-October of this year, up 14.5 percent while compared with the same period last year, according to a report released here on Thursday.
The Homelessness Report published by the Irish Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) showed that 1,232 more people became homeless in the 12 months to the end of this October and nearly 70 percent of all the homeless people in the country were in Dublin.
The increase in the number of the homeless people in Ireland was largely due to rapidly rising rents and home prices resulting from a supply shortage on the local rental and housing markets, said local watchers.
Data from the country's national statistics bureau CSO showed that the national average of the residential property prices in September was 83 percent higher than March 2013 when the local property market crashed to its lowest point following the financial crisis while the home prices in Dublin had almost doubled since it touched the bottom in February 2012.
The rents in Dublin are now 30 percent higher than the peak time recorded in 2007, said Daft, the largest on-line property website in Ireland, in its recent report, adding that the average rent of a one-bed room in Dublin stands as high as 1,000 euros (about 1,140 U.S. dollars).
The exorbitantly high rents and the lack of affordable homes have forced about 1,700 families, especially single parent families to live in government-funded emergency accommodation at hotels, hostels and other temporary residential facilities, according to the DHPLG report figures.
Some of them have to live in cars, on ships and even in the open fields.
A recent report quoted a senior naval officer as saying that 66 sailors of the Irish navy are now living on ships as they can not afford to rent a house or have nowhere else to live.
Statistics show there are also an estimated 110 rough sleepers in Dublin who refuse to live in emergency accommodation.
The homelessness issue has triggered a number of protests in the country, particularly in Dublin.
Earlier in September, opposition party members of the Irish parliament tabled a no-confidence motion against Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government over his failure to tackle the housing problem in the country. Though the motion had failed in the parliament, it has sent a alarming signal to the government.
The Irish government has recently announced a 2.3 billion euros allocation for housing programmes in 2019, which represents an increase of 470 million euros or 26 percent over 2018.
Out of the total housing investment, 1.25 billion euros will be earmarked for the delivery of 10,000 new social housing units, said Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.(1 euro= 1.14 U.S. dollars).