30th September 2022
Homelessness hits record high of 10,805 & Focus Ireland warns of a worsening crisis ahead
Figures published by the Department of Housing today show the number of people who are officially homeless has reached yet another record high of 10,805 people. This is an increase of 237 since the July figure of 10,568 and a 32% increase from only a year ago (8,212 in August 2021).
Focus Ireland warned that, without immediate Government action, the crisis will continue to deepen this Winter as supply is at all time low and the government failed to take any action in Budget 2023 to stop landlords leaving the rental market. This trend of leaving the rental market is causing increased eviction notices from private rented homes.
As most emergency accommodation is full there are an increasing number of people who have no homes (such as couch surfers, families ‘doubling up’ with friends/family) and who are not counted in the official figures.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “As the numbers keep going up, there is a risk that Government comes to treat homelessness as inevitable, but it is the result of bad political choices and can be solved by the right policies. The number of landlords selling up has had a huge negative effect on the monthly homeless figures and the government has failed to respond to a catastrophe which we – and their own data – have been warning them about for months. Landlords seeking to sell issued eviction notices to over 1,000 households in the first half of this year alone.’’
Mr. Dennigan added: “The stark reality remains that homeless services and local authorities nationwide fear that they may not be able to provide emergency accommodation for all the hundreds of households that will become homeless this winter. It is unforgivable that this week’s budget failed to offer a single measure to help prevent these households from losing their homes. Many families will have a grim dilemma this winter between paying their rent, energy bills or putting food on the table. Focus Ireland will continue to help people find homes, but it is difficult to see homeless services being able to cope with the sheer demand of people that need our support. This unprecedented crisis needs an immediate emergency response.”
The August figures also report a total of 1,483 families with 3,220 children homeless. Child homelessness is up 47% compared to the same time last year and family homelessness is up 56% compared to August 2021.
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