Focus Ireland and Trinity College team up for a unique report analysing homelessness

Focus Ireland and the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin today (12th May 2020) to publish a unique and picture of the extent of homelessness in Ireland.

The publication, ‘Focus on Homelessness’ extracts data from over 500 different Government reports to track 17 key indicators of homelessness since the start of the current crisis.

Since 2014, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) has published data compiled by local authorities across the country showing the number of people living in emergency accommodation each month. This data is a unique resource which charts the rise of homelessness during the last 5 years of crisis (2014-19) but no one has previously extracted this data to let it tell its story.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Outside of Dublin, the number of households in emergency accommodation has increased by 128% since 2014 and climbed above 2,000 for the first time in 2019
  • The number of women in emergency accommodation has been growing faster than men over the past six years, a trend which is partly explained by the growth in family homelessness and the large proportion of families in emergency accommodation with one female
  • 25-44 year olds make up the majority of the number of adults in emergency accommodation at around 60%.
  • All age groups have seen a rise in homelessness over the past six years – the largest rise has been among 45-64 year olds, with a 231% increase since June 2014.
  • In June 2014, there were just over 300 families in emergency accommodation in Ireland – as of December 2019, there were 1,548 families, an increase of 349%.
  • There were 6,309 adults in emergency accommodation as of December 2019, an increase of 165% on June 2014.

Commenting on the report Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy and co-author, Mike Allen said: “In order to end any crisis it is vital to fully understand the situation. This unique collaboration with the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin clearly informs our work with the State to refine our services and to also develop policy recommendations that – if acted upon by Government – would help to greatly reduce the number of people becoming homeless.”

‘Focus on Homelessness’ will be published quarterly, as the local government reports become available from the DHPLG. In addition to the 17 key indicators, special in depth reports on particular aspects of homelessness – such a gender, age and geographical distribution – will be published with each quarterly edition.

The authors of ‘Focus on Homelessness’ were Prof Eoin O’Sullivan (School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin) Mike Allen (Focus Ireland Advocacy Director) and Aisling Reidy (Focus Ireland Policy Officer) the full report is available at on  at

Focus Ireland would like to sincerely thank the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin for their collaboration with this research and report publication. The authors also gave credit to the staff in local authorities across the country and to the staff in the DHPLG for their diligence and effort in producing the reports on which the publication draws.


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