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19 Jan 2022

Homelessness still an issue in Longford despite rent boost

Homelessness still an issue in Longford despite rent boost

Longford's homelessness situation won't disappear overnight despite increases to rent supplement levels, it has been claimed.

Last week the Government announced the rollout of an extra €15m in state funding to ease the burden on emergency accommodation providers.

The new money was officially  set aside from last Friday (July 1)  with average increases in welfare payments of 29 per cent for  households in Dublin and 25 in counties Laois and Roscommon.

Longford formed part of the next batch alongside Leitrim, Galway city and Cork City courtesy of a 21 per cent average increase.

But while the increases have been broadly welcomed by industry experts, problems linked to Longford's homelessness situation remain.

“It (the increase) is welcome and will help a lot of families having to juggle finances to make ends meet,” said Tersea Gilchriest of Bethany House in Longford town.

The Dublin road facility is a St Vincent de Paul run project that provides emergency accommodation for women with or without children.

Besides providing shelter, staff are also trained in assisting victims of domestic abuse, homelessness and recovery from addiction.

 Ms Gilchriest, as project manager, said  challenges still remain.

The biggest headache up till now, she added, was the availability of suitable 'follow on' accommodation.

“It is an issue,” she contended.

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