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Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, welcomed the new figures. Leon Farrell/

Number of people in emergency accommodation remains below 10,000, latest figures show

Figures for April show that there were 572 fewer people in emergency accommodation compared to March.

THE NUMBER OF homeless people is continuing to fall with a total of 9,335 homeless individuals, according to figures released by the Department of Housing.

The report for April shows that there were 572 fewer people in emergency accommodation compared to March.

There were 290 fewer adults, 282 fewer dependants and 179 fewer families in emergency accommodation in April.

The number of homeless people has been falling since the outbreak of Covid-19.

In March, housing minister Eoghan Murphy announced a temporary ban on evictions and a pause on rent increases for an initial period of three months while the Covid-19 crisis continued.

Murphy said the figures for April show “significantly fewer” families and individuals in emergency accommodation than the previous month and fewer than the last two years.

“The work being carried out by the staff of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive in Parkgate Street over the last number of weeks has been a significant factor combined with the efforts of our partner organisations across the country,” Murphy said in a statement.

“Despite the current challenges posed by Covid-19 we have been able to consistently move families out of emergency accommodation into secure long-term homes.

“The reduction in the homeless numbers has been achieved due to a significant number of households moving from emergency accommodation to tenancies.

“Individuals and families accommodated in short-term accommodation secured in recent weeks, as part of the response to Covid-19, continue to be included in the homeless figures.

“There is also a huge effort ongoing to keep all those in emergency accommodation safe and we continue to work with the HSE and all those providing services at this difficult time.

“This has included providing significant additional accommodation to allow for the necessary social distancing in emergency accommodation and to allow for the ‘cocooning’ of homeless individuals identified as vulnerable due to their health needs.”

The Quarterly Report from the housing department also shows a 12% increase in exits from homelessness for the first quarter of this year.

There are widespread concerns of the impact on social housing construction after sites were shut down in March.

While some have reopened, Murphy said he does not know the “full extent” of the effect of Covid-19 on construction.

“We have been able to get key social housing sites back up and running for delivery for families in 2020,” he added.


Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said that there has been “progress made in securing more homes for people to move to”. 

“Since the onset of Covid-19, we have definitely seen an improvement in the availability of housing, particularly in Dublin. While things can improve across the housing system in terms of more supply, we are definitely seeing some small silver lining coming from Covid-19 and that is a lot of tourist rentals are coming back to us through HAP, long term leases or purchases,” Doyle said. 

Depaul’s Director of Services and Development, Dermot Murphy, also welcomed the decrease. 

“However, we must approach this good news with a degree of caution as there is a distinct possibility of more people becoming homeless post Covid-19,” he said. 

“Vital measures that have been put in place during this pandemic, such as rent freezes, must remain for a longer period of time if we are to prevent any post-Covid surge in homelessness,” he added. 

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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