New figures this week lay bare the extent of Galway’s housing crisis – 25 people recorded as sleeping rough on our streets, nearly 320 adults and children living in emergency accommodation and more than 80 repossession cases before the courts.
And a further 70 adults and children are classed as ‘hidden homeless’ – living in tourist accommodation or ‘sofa surfing’.
Compounding the problem are tenancy terminations – in a three-month period, housing charity Threshold dealt with 183 cases in Galway.
The figures come from charities COPE Galway and Threshold, as well as the Courts Service.
A total of 82 repossession cases were listed for hearing on Tuesday – many of them family homes – and three orders were granted.
Galway Housing Action Group staged a protest outside Galway Courthouse during the repossession hearings.
Spokesperson Dette McLoughlin told the Connacht Tribune: “There were some repossessions, and in some cases, even when they came good on repayments and cleared arrears, the case will be reviewed again. That’s quite upsetting for the people there.”
She said that with buy-to-let repossessions, it is ultimately the tenant who pays the price, as they are left with nowhere to go.
“There has to be a temporary halt to repossessions to allow people in mortgage difficulties to come up with some sort of payment arrangement. We want no more people having the roof over their head jeopardised,” said Ms McLoughlin.
This week, COPE Galway launched its annual winter emergency service, which provides 21 beds and a hot meal each night.
See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.