Almost 1 in 5 homeless adults in Ireland are aged 18-24

Together we can end youth homelessness

What is this campaign about?

There are currently 1,660 young people aged 18-24 experiencing youth homelessness, residing in emergency homeless accommodation across Ireland. Focus Ireland and spunout are calling for the urgent change required to end youth homelessness.

Youth Homelessness is a distinct issue that is facing too many young people in Ireland. For young people, transitioning from adolescence to adulthood is a crucial point in their development. Traumatic experiences at this stage can have a life-long impact.

What effect are the housing and youth homelessness crisis having on young people?

As simultaneous crises unfold such as that in housing, including the private rental sector, student accommodation, and residential care, more and more young people are residing in unsuitable accommodation and being pushed to the margins.

Young people are especially vulnerable to risks presented by experiences of homelessness, including disengagement from education and training, poor mental health and addiction.

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spunout Research

Research carried out by spunout, Ireland’s youth information and support platform, surveyed 1,000 young people across Ireland.

“4 in 5 young people said the housing crisis was negatively impacting their mental health”

This research found that 34% of young people surveyed faced difficulties sourcing accessible accommodation, 88% have considered emigrating due to the housing crises, while 4 in 5 young people said the housing crisis was negatively impacting their mental health.

Youth Homelessness

Due to their age, young people are often left behind. Exits from homelessness to the private rental sector via rental subsidies such as the Housing Assistance Payment have reduced dramatically for young people. While social housing is predominantly allocated based on time spent on the social housing list, meaning young people in emergency homeless accommodation with a housing application may face significant waiting times before being allocated a Local Authority or Approved Housing Body tenancy.

Initiatives such as the Capital Assistance Scheme for Careleavers and the Supported Housing for Youth programme planned under the Youth Homelessness Strategy are extremely valuable and to be welcomed, but to truly put an end to youth homelessness we must build upon these initiatives and expand housing options for young people trapped in homelessness.

What do Focus Ireland and spunout want to change?

We are calling on Government and each Local Authority to build housing stock specifically committed to meeting the housing needs of vulnerable young people in their area.

This will involve both expanding on existing schemes like SHY and the CAS for Careleavers programme, as well as ensuring an adequate supply of 1-bed units and accessible units so the type of housing built reflects the needs of young people in need of these schemes on the social housing waiting list.

What can you do?

We are asking you make a difference by signing this petition.