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Emergency Accommodation

Number of people homeless in Ireland passes a record 14,000

9,803 adults and 4,206 children were in emergency accommodation in April.

THE NUMBER OF people living in emergency accommodation increased last month to a record 14,009.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Housing, 9,803 adults and 4,206 children were in emergency accommodation in April.

The figure is an increase from the 13,866 people living in emergency accommodation in March, which was also a record at the time.

Wayne Stanley, Executive Director of the Simon Communities of Ireland, described the latest number as “shameful”.

He said that the charity is constantly seeing “the devastating effects of the housing crisis on the most vulnerable” in society and meeting people who are “struggling to find a secure, affordable home”.

Also responding to the figures, Focus Ireland director of advocacy Mike Allen said that although the Government had made some progress in addressing homelessness, “things are moving far too slowly for the over 4,000 children who are homeless in Ireland”.

“Their lives should not be put on hold while the Government responds defensively when offered a pathway to a much more effective approach to providing homes in the social, affordable, and home-ownership sectors,” he added.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said the “unacceptable month-on-month rise in homelessness” was due to “this government and their failing housing plan”. 

“Only a change of Government and a change of housing plan can reverse the ever rising levels of homelessness,” he said. 

Labour leader Ivana Bacik deemed the figure “a devastating new homeless milestone”, adding: “These figures aren’t just statistics, they represent real lives failed by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“Housing for all is failing by every metric. Homelessness is up, house prices are up, and evictions are up. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have utterly failed in housing. It’s time for change,” Bacik said. 

Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan said today’s figures followed a “damning report” published by the Housing Commission earlier this month, which identified a deficit of up to 256,000 homes in Ireland.

“A shortfall 256,000 homes is deeply problematic. Thousands of children growing up without a home is deeply problematic,” he said. 

Contains reporting by Nicky Ryan, Jane Moore and Stephen McDermott.

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