Focus Ireland Calls on Incoming Taoiseach to Make Tackling Homelessness a Top Priority as New Figures Show a Record Total of 13,841 People Now Homeless.


           This includes a shocking record total of 4170 children in 1994 families.


Focus Ireland has called on the incoming Taoiseach to make tackling the deepening homelessness crisis a political priority to help end the suffering of a record total of 13,841 people now homeless.


The new figures – issued by the Department of Housing today – report a distressing record total of 13,841 people officially homeless in February 2024.


This is an increase of 310 from the previous month and an alarming 18% increase in the past year since February 2023. The number of children homeless has shot up 24% during this same period.


The charity emphasised the urgent need for more decisive action to reverse the trend of rising monthly homelessness figures since the end of the pandemic.


Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “We welcome figures issued earlier today which report that over 8,000 new homes were delivered last year for people on the social housing waiting list but that is still below the target for last year of 9,000. We must stress that the current targets for housing, especially social housing, are woefully inadequate to meet the growing demand.”


”The Government continues to say it is meeting its target of 33,000 new homes annually. However, meeting that target is not good enough as it is widely accepted that Ireland now requires more than 50,000 new homes each year to effectively tackle the housing crisis.”

He added: “There has been a welcome rise in the provision of social housing in the last year but at the same time there has been a rise in homelessness as not enough of this housing is being used to provide homes for families and individuals who are homeless.”


“There are solutions in the short, medium, and long term to this crisis. We have repeatedly called for a fairer allocation of social homes for homeless households. Simon Harris could act on this issue, and it would have a significant impact as it would lift more men, women, and children out of homelessness and into a safe, secure home. With just less than 2,000 families in emergency accommodation the number of new homes required to end this crisis for families in long-term homelessness is not impossible to deliver and this should be a real priority.”


Focus Ireland highlighted that this would act to reduce the number of people in emergency accommodation, and this could help the State to deal with the additional crisis of international protection applicants who were left without adequate shelter during severe weather conditions.


Focus Ireland said it is writing to the new Taoiseach next week to ask him to consider setting out several clear goals to help end the human crisis of homelessness. These goals are as follows: prioritising homelessness as a key agenda item, setting more realistic targets for home building, and ensuring a fairer share of social housing supply is allocated to homeless households.


Media contact:  Roughan Mac Namara, Head of Media Communications, Focus Ireland –  

086 85 15 117

+ Click to view more