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Slight drop in November's homeless figures, as non-profits call for extension to eviction ban

The total number of people presenting at emergency accommodation was 8,484 in November.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

THE NUMBER OF people accessing emergency accommodation has seen a slight decrease between October and November, according to new figures released by the Department of Housing.

The total number of people presenting at emergency accommodation was 8,484 in November, which is a drop of 253 people on October. This total includes single people and families.

All figures were compiled between 23 and 29 November.

In October, there were 6,095 adults presenting at emergency accommodation, while in November it dropped to 6,032.

The highest figures remain in Dublin, where 4,243 people accessed emergency accommodation in November. Of these, 2,749 were men while 1,494 were women.

Homeless_figs_Nov Source: Department of Housing

There has also been a reduction in the number of families accessing emergency accommodation, with 1,034 families accessing accommodation in November compared to 1,117 in October.

There is also a slight reduction in the number of children in emergency accommodation, with 2,452 presenting in November compared to 2,642 in October.

However, there has been an increase in the number of single adults attending emergency accommodation. In October, the figure stood at 4,495 but rose to 4,536 at the end of November.

Focus Ireland has called on the government to introduce a broader eviction ban until April 2021. 

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Focus Ireland CEO, Pat Dennigan has said that by linking the eviction ban to Covid-19 restrictions, it becomes hard to follow as Ireland rapidly changes levels.

“People who rent their homes need to deal with the same challenges and disappointments as everyone else, but they also must be constantly anxious about whether their home is secure. A simple commitment is needed from the Government that renters cannot be evicted through no fault of their own, until the pandemic is over,” said Dennigan.

The Simon Community has also said that they are facing further pressure due to the Christmas period and the additional restrictions being implemented.

Wayne Stanley, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities welcomed the fall in people accessing emergency accommodation but said he is concerned due to rising cases of Covid-19.

“Christmas is always a time of heightened emotion and isolation for people experiencing homelessness and this year even more so as COVID numbers increase and we’re all asked to limit our contacts,” said Stanley.

Many vulnerable people in homelessness have underlying health issues and we have to do everything we can to keep them safe. This may be the most challenging Christmas for our clients and frontline services in the 50 years we have existed. 

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