Homeless people unable to get B&B accommodation in Tipperary

Emergency accommodation costing €500 daily

Tipperary County Council

Tipperary County Council discussed homelessness

Homeless people are finding it "near impossible" to secure emergency B&B accommodation in Co. Tipperary even though the Co. Council foots the bill, two Clonmel councillors have told the local authority's monthly meeting.

People presenting to the Council as homeless are given letters to present to B&Bs stating the Council will cover the cost of their accommodation. But the Council is finding it difficult to get B&Bs to take emergency accommodation cases.

That's what Sinn Fein Cllr Catherine Carey and Independent Cllr Richie Molloy informed Council Housing Department officials at last week's Council meeting in Clonmel.

Cllr Carey said very few B&Bs were accepting the Council's letters. She had spent countless hours looking for BB accommodation for homeless people.

Cllr Molloy agreed. "While the Council is meeting its obligation by issuing these letters to people presenting as homeless it's near to impossible to get a B&B," he said.

It seemed to him that when B&B owners saw the Council letterhead they weren't available.

He also pointed out that he had noticed three-four homeless people sleeping rough at the Main Guard in Clonmel town centre in recent weeks.

Co. Council Senior Executive Officer in Housing Aidan Fennessy responded that the Council was aware it was very difficult to get B&B accommodation for people presenting to the local authority as homeless and was trying to find a way of securing more B&Bs that would provide emergency accommodation.

He said the Council had about 16 people in emergency accommodation and this varied daily.

He estimated this emergency accommodation cost the Council about €500 daily.

"That can go up and own. We probably have more people in emergency accommodation than we have had (previously) but we are working to resolve that."

Mr Fennessy outlined that the Council had a Homeless Action Team in place including representatives from the HSE and Department of Social Protection. This team dealt with all the emergency accommodation cases.