THERE has been a fivefold increase in the amount spent on emergency B&B accommodation by Donegal County Council in the last year. Figures obtained by the Donegal News from the Local Authority reveal that they spent €68,972 on B&B accommodation for the homeless last year. This is an increase from €12,000 spent in 2017.
So far this year the Council has spent a further €54,900 on emergency B&B costs. A spokesperson for the Council said there is a number of reasons for the rising costs including the fact that people are remaining in B&Bs for longer periods of time.
“There has been an increase in costs associated with the provision of emergency B&B accommodation over the last few years,” said the spokesperson.
“There are a range of factors associated with same. For example some individuals are remaining in B&B accommodation for longer periods than heretofore, as they are having difficulty obtaining private rented accommodation, particularly where they are unable to provide references in respect of previous tenancies.
“In some instances, individuals do obtain accommodation but require repeat assistance in the form of emergency B&B accommodation, where they are unable to maintain their tenancy. Various agencies, both statutory and voluntary, continue to work with individuals in difficult circumstances with a view to finding more stable and longer term solutions.”
The latest figures from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government recorded there was 22 people listed as homeless in Donegal as of the end of June. However, these figures are widely criticised for not giving a clear picture of the homeless situation as they do not take into account the ‘hidden homeless’ who may be couchsurfing with family or friends.
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