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Homelessness record broken again as 12,600 people in emergency accommodation in June

There were 3,765 children, and 8,835 adults in emergency accommodation last month.

THE NUMBER OF people homeless has once again reached a record high, with 12,600 people accessing emergency accommodation in June.

Figures from the Department of Housing detail how there were 3,765 children and 8,835 adults in emergency accommodation last month. 

The figures are an increase of 159 compared to May, where there were 12,441 people in emergency accommodation.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said the latest figures show that it is “time for this Government, their Housing Minister and his housing plan to go”. 

“Of course, these figures don’t show the full extent of the homeless crisis. But they are a damning inditement of this Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis,” Ó Broin said. 

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan has said the number of families experiencing homelessness is a “terrible blight on our society”. 

Dennigan stressed the importance of the right type of housing supply to help end homelessness and ease the housing crisis in society. 

“The only long-term solution to ending homelessness in Ireland is a rapid build programme of new social and affordable housing, with allocations to the homes used to drive down homelessness,” he said.

“The reason that our current homelessness and housing crisis exists is because the building of new build social housing ground to a near halt during the austerity years following the global financial crisis,” Dennigan added.

Focus Ireland, he said, believes that the current housing targets “need to be increased to meet the scale of the crisis”.

“It is also vital that the building programme delivers the type of homes required, which is a good mix of social, rental and purchase which is affordable for families and individuals.”

Wayne Stanley, executive director of the Simon Communities of Ireland, said: “Once again, we’re seeing a disheartening surge in the number of people living in homelessess. 

“It’s shocking that we continue to reach record numbers of men, women and children in emergency accommodation each month, at a time when Budget surpluses are running into billions of euro.” 

Depaul chief executive David Carroll said that “although we remain hopeful that we can turn a corner, it doesn’t appear that the number of people in temporary accommodation will reduce in significant numbers anytime soon”. 

Carroll said that it is “clear that going into the winter period that pressure will remain on temporary accommodation services and retention of staff is vital”.

He said Budget 2024 “needs to ensure that funding for charities providing services on behalf of the state for people who are homeless are increased to improve terms and conditions of staff”. 

Quarterly update

The Department of Housing also today published its homeless quarterly progress report for the second quarter of the year. 

It outlines that at the end of the second quarter of this year, there were an increase of 612 individuals (5%) accessing emergency accommodation when compared with the end of the first quarter of the year. 

There was an increase of 2,108 individuals (20%) accessing emergency accommodation when compared with the same quarter in 2022. 

There were 1,804 families accessing emergency accommodation at the end of the second quarter. 

This is an increase of 165 families (10%) accessing emergency accommodation at the end of the first quarter of this year and an increase of 420 families (30%) on the total recorded at end of the second quarter of 2022. 

In a statement today, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in the numbers of people in emergency accommodation. The situation is very challenging but the Government, local authorities and those in our NGO sectors are working together and making every effort to reduce homelessness.”

He said that “tackling this issue is a Government policy.” 

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