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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 9 August 2022

The number of homeless families in Ireland has increased by almost 300 in the past year

Over 8,000 people were recorded as homeless last month.

The number of homeless adults, dependents and families is increasing
The number of homeless adults, dependents and families is increasing
Image: Photocall Ireland

A TOTAL OF 1,429 families were recorded as homeless in one week in July – an increase of 299 compared to the same week last year – according to figures released today.

Between 24 and 30 July this year, there were 1,429 homeless families, compared to 1,130 families between 25 and 31 July last year.

2,973 dependents were recorded as homeless that week, compared to 2,348 in the same week last year.

The figures were released by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government, which stated that “the long term solution to the current homelessness issue is to increase the supply of homes”.

A department statement reiterated that the government’s housing plan – Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness – aims to deliver 47,000 units by 2021.

Over 3,000 people exited homelessness into independent tenancies in 2016, the statement said, with over 1,800 people doing so in the first half of this year.

However, the problem is still worsening, with an increase of 1,010 people accessing emergency accommodation in the week under focus in July, compared to the same week last year.

Focus Ireland said that the “dreadful” figures showed the Rebuilding Ireland strategy was failing to deal with the crisis.

Focus Ireland Advocacy Director Mike Allen said:

The time has now come for the Government to take the decisions it has shied away from for several years. This includes actively building social housing, taxing those who hoard building land and protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction.

5,187 homeless adults accessed emergency accommodation during the week in July detailed in the department’s figures, with 3,528 of these in Dublin. In total 8,160 people, including dependents, were recorded as homeless.


There has been a renewed focus on the homelessness crisis in recent days after three homeless people died last week.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy told RTÉ last week that the deaths were tragedies for the families involved.

He said:

Some people have difficulties in their lives that require our assistance and our support, beyond simple shelter or housing needs. Sometimes, no matter what we do, it won’t be enough. But people shouldn’t be dying on the streets. People deserve more dignity than that.

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This week it was revealed that Depaul Ireland, which runs homelessness services in Northern Ireland and the Republic, saw 18 children born into its services last year.

Depaul report Homelessness charity Depaul saw 18 children born into its services last year Source: Photocall Ireland

An emergency housing summit, which will take place tomorrow, will examine solutions to the crisis. It will be held in the Custom House in Dublin. Senior officials and county council heads will explore measures to help families and individuals living in emergency accommodation.

“The unprecedented level of homelessness that we are witnessing is totally unacceptable,” Murphy said, announcing the summit.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin, described the new figures as “disappointing and a reflection of this government’s ongoing failure to get to grips with the housing crisis”.

In the longer term the government needs to build more social and affordable homes. It has been told countless times by housing NGOs, commentators and academics that this is the only long term solution to this growing problem.

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