New figures show a record total of 3,895 children now homeless in Ireland

Charity warns that Budget 2024 must deliver immediate measures to help all children who are homeless 

Figures published by the Department of Housing today show a total number of 12,691 people officially homeless in August.

Dublin Region Homeless Executive confirmed in a statement today that a previous error in how the number of people accessing emergency accommodation was recorded over a period resulted in a cumulative overcount of adults homeless in Dublin of 308 individuals. The correction of this error has seen the official number of people homeless decrease by 156 in August.

The corrected figures still show a record total of 3,895 children homeless and a 17% rise in the total number of people homeless in the last year when compared to August 2022. The last record in the number of children homeless was September 2019, when 3,873 children were residing in emergency accommodation with their families. A new record has now been set nearly four years later.

Commenting on the figures Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “Focus Ireland noted the Department of Housing/Dublin Regional Homeless Executive correction of the homeless figures by the removal of 308 single people who had left homelessness over the last number of months but by mistake had still been included in the monthly figures. Focus Ireland also welcomes the efforts by the State to retain people’s confidence in the accuracy of the figures by inviting independent scrutiny by leading academics.”

He added: “It is vital to have accurate figures. However, I would stress that the removal of the 308-person error does not change the unacceptable story of the last two years which is one of a relentless increase in homelessness. This is shown most starkly by the new record total of 3,895 children homeless which is awful to see happening.”

Focus Ireland has called for urgent action in the Budget later this month to help end the deepening child homelessness crisis and better protect children while they are homeless. One specific action the charity has called for is investment to ensure that all children who are homeless and have complex needs are allocated a designated Child Support Worker funded through Tusla. An estimated investment of €2 million per year would fund 37 additional Child Support Workers who would be able to support over 1,000 vulnerable children annually.

Focus Ireland said that child homelessness continues to rise primarily because families are finding it harder than ever to secure a new home and move out of homelessness. This means that not only are more families homeless, but they are also stuck in homelessness for longer.

Mr Dennigan also called for the Government to take immediate action to help lift more families and children out of homelessness. He said: “The Government is not using anywhere near enough of the new social housing supply coming on stream to drive down homelessness. Families and single people who are long-term homeless need to get a fairer share of the new homes that become available.”

The figures published today also show 1,886 families homeless in August.

Annual increases (August 2023 vs August 2022):

  • Annual Total Homelessness Difference: Homelessness overall is 17% higher compared with August 2022
  • Families Annual Difference: 27% higher compared with August 2022
  • Children Annual Difference is 21% higher compared with August 2022
  • Adults Annual Difference is 16% higher compared with August 2022


Editor’s Note: Focus Ireland noted that, in comparison to other countries, Ireland has exceptionally up-to-date and accurate information about homelessness, although it is confined to a very narrow definition of homelessness. Nevertheless, the recent problems confirm the organisation’s view that improvements could be made to the data collation process to make it more useful in evaluating and improving policy. The current data collection system has now been in place for a decade, and it would be timely to reconvene an independent Homelessness Data Collection Committee, involving all stakeholders, to review and improve the current system.

Media Contact: Roughan Mac Namara – 086 85 15 117 or  Conor Culkin – 0879361716

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