In the last two years alone, housing charity Threshold has saved more than 4,200 people from becoming homeless in Cork.
Statistics show the organisation’s new Tenancy Protection Service has prevented more than 1,738 households from entering homeless services since it was first established in January 2015. This equates to 2,403 adults and 1,836 children.
Regina Baylor, who oversees the service, said that without it the number of homeless families in Cork would be significantly higher.
She said the service has been getting busier and busier in recent months, and that callers tend to be extremely emotional.
“In the seven and a half years that I’ve worked with Threshold, 2016 was the year I’ve seen people under the most stress. They’re at their wits ends. It’s the lack of supply of housing,” she said.
“The other day there were three of us on the phone to clients and when we all put down our phones, we found that on each single call our clients were crying down the phone. That’s the first time it happened where three such calls happened at the same time, but people crying down the phone is a daily occurrence. The impact that the threat of being homeless is having on ordinary people is unbelievable.”
In a recent case, Regina dealt with a family which included 10 ten children. The entire family was facing homelessness until Threshold stepped in.
“It went to the Residential Tenancies Board in the end and we made a mediation agreement in there that suited both the landlord and the tenant. But it was literally down to the bare knuckles.”
Regina said the most common issues people are calling about at the moment are eviction notices and rent increases.
The service is free to phone on 1800 454 454. For more information, go to www.threshold.ie.