Focus Ireland Calls on Taoiseach to Take Every Action Possible to Fast-Track Social Housing as new Figures Show a Record Total of 13,866 People Now Homeless

This includes a shocking record total of 4,147 children and 1,981 families homeless

Focus Ireland has welcomed the Government confirming that revised housing targets are to be set but the charity warned that things are still moving far too slowly as new figures show a new record total of 13,866 now homeless.

The figures issued today by the Dept of Housing show a record number of 1,981 families and 4,147 children were officially homeless in March this year. The figures show an increase of 25 people homeless since the previous month and an alarming 16% increase in homelessness compared to March 2023. The number of children homeless has shot up by 19% during this same period.

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “We welcome the Taoiseach’s recognition that the existing new housing targets for social, rental, and private housing are inadequate and will be increased. However, things are moving far too slowly for the over 4,000 children who are homeless in Ireland. This massive increase in homelessness was not inevitable and its root cause is the repeated failure to deliver sufficient social and affordable housing.

Focus Ireland said it had recently written to the new Taoiseach making the case that with the right policies homelessness can be solved and calling on him to make easing the homelessness & housing crisis a core political priority. The charity said the Government could act today to prioritise moving the many families and individuals out of long-term homelessness, and straightforward changes could make rapid and significant differences to people’s lives.

Mr. Dennigan explained: ‘’While it is positive that more social housing has been provided in the past year – and new targets are to be set – it remains a stark reality that homelessness has increased every month. A key reason for the rising figures is that not enough of the new social housing allocations go to families and individuals trapped in emergency accommodation for lengthy periods.”

Focus Ireland also 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 earlier this year.

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