Almost 50 children were homeless in Cork in early October, while the bill to house homeless families in the city was more than €25,000 in September alone.
Figures from Cork City Council have revealed that 23 families with 49 children lived in emergency accommodation in the first two weeks of October, compared to 14 families with 29 children in the same period in January.
The council stated, in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, that it spent €10,804 in January on temporary shelter for homeless families. However, that figure jumped to €25,156 in September.
And of the 44 children in homeless families in Cork by the end of last month, three included babies aged from infancy to 12 months old, and nine were between one and four years old.
Separately, Cork City Council’s housing and community directorate said there were no plans to hire extra staff to tackle homelessness over the winter.
The council stated it paid “market rates” to providers of emergency accommodation in the city and county, but did not source such premises as this was operated by the Department of Social Protection’s community welfare service.
The four local authorities in Dublin are under increasing pressure to manage the homeless crisis there, but the problem is also worsening in other large urban centres nationwide.
Galway City Council said the cost of housing homeless families there was just €360 in January this year, but rose to almost €26,000 for the month of September.
Four Galway families with 15 children needed emergency shelter in the first two weeks of 2015, but by early October, that swelled to 17 families with 43 children.
An FOI reply from Waterford City and County Council indicated it paid €6,370 for B&Bs for its homeless families in September, compared to €2,540 last January.
Officials in Waterford said, up to the end of last month, there were on average 42 “presentations per calendar month to the homeless services”, with a “mixture of singles, couples and those with child dependents”.
In Limerick, 21 children in nine families were homeless in early October, according to Limerick City and County Council, compared to 11 children in eight families in the first two weeks of 2015.
Latest data for Dublin, for the week of October 19-25, reveal that 975 children, from 461 families, were living in hotels across the city.
A further 450 children, in 216 families, were staying in other “homeless accommodation” in the same period.