COPE Galway alarmed and concerned as emergency accommodation at capacity

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galway daily Homeless figures for Galway increased again in June

Local housing charity COPE Galway has said that it is “alarmed and concerned” at the high numbers about to lose their homes in Galway in the coming weeks and months.

This comes as the Residential Tenancies Board revealed last week they received 267 Notices of Termination (NOTs) in Q4 of 2022 for Galway in addition to 286 NOTs received in the previous three months.

These latest figures, published just days after the ban on evictions was lifted, represent a near fourfold increase in the number of NOTs of tenancies nationally in 2022 compared to 2021.

COPE Galway points to the findings of their own first quarterly census of 2023 as an illustration of the enormity of the challenge Galway is already dealing with before the effect of the eviction ban ending puts further pressure on an already heavily burdened homeless service locally.

The findings reveal that there were 375 people living in emergency accommodation and a further 134 people in transitional spaces in Galway over the 24-hours of the spring equinox (March 21/22).

The charity’s Street Outreach and Day Centre teams identified an additional 25 people who were rough sleeping in this same 24-hour period.

“These are staggering figures for Galway,” said COPE Galway’s Martin O’Connor.

“The demand on our services is higher than ever before and will undoubtedly increase. We now have 99 families with 155 children in emergency accommodation.

“Sixteen of these families entered into emergency accommodation during the five-month period of the eviction ban. With the handbrake now released as the ban has ended, we can only see this increasing further over the coming weeks and months. We are very worried about where these men, women and children will go.”

In addition to the increasing number of families, 65 single-person households and 3 couples availed of emergency accommodation on that date.

In the period since the March 6 announcement of the eviction ban ending, an additional 15 households have presented to COPE Galway seeking assistance with accommodation.

COPE Galway is appealing to accommodation operators to get in touch with them to help alleviate the crisis.

“We now have an immediate need for additional accommodation that can be used for emergency accommodation purposes,” said Mr O’Connor.

“Without this stop-gap, we are genuinely afraid that this housing crisis will see an increase in rough sleeping and the occurrence of something we have never seen in Galway – families, and most especially children, without a place to stay.

“Along with the two Galway local authorities, we continue to do all in our power to safeguard against the occurrence of such an unprecedented and dismal situation.

“But we also need the support and assistance of the wider community. We are especially anxious to hear from accommodation operators who are in a position to work with us.”

If you wish to discuss ways you can support COPE Galway with accommodation options, their team is available to speak with you – 091 77 87 50 / info@copegalway.ie .