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The number of homeless children in Ireland has risen by 136 in the space of a month

There are now collectively 9,698 people living in homeless accommodation across Ireland.

Image: Shutterstock/Sharomka

THE NUMBER OF children living in emergency accommodation in Ireland rose by 136 last month.

Emergency accommodation figures for September show that there are now collectively 9,698 people living in homeless accommodation across Ireland. 

The number of homeless adults rose by 35 adults in September to 5,869. 

There was also an increase of 136 children in September. The number of homeless children in Ireland is now 3,829. 

Overall, the number of people accessing emergency accommodation in Ireland rose by 171 people. 

Despite the significant rise in the number of children presenting as homeless, the Department of Housing noted that the number of new families entering emergency accommodation is down from last month. 

Overall in September, 88 families entered emergency accommodation in Dublin, while 45 exited. 

New Focus Ireland figures for Dublin also issued today show that three families became homeless every single day last month in the capital. 

As noted above, 88 families with 193 children became newly homeless in Dublin in September. 

‘It’s an absolute scandal’

Commenting on the figures, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said that Ireland is “still very much in the midst of a crisis in homelessness … despite the increasing numbers of new social houses being built and house building more generally”. 

Until we have caught up with supply, we will continue to face a serious challenge. 

Last month saw a decrease in homeless figures for the first time in months. The Department of Housing said those figures followed the completion of an exercise to ensure the correct categorisation of emergency accommodation. More on that can be read here

The increase in this month’s figures has been criticised by a number of charities and politicians. 

Sinn Féin spokesperson for housing Eoin Ó Broin said that “it’s an absolute scandal and it shows once again that both Minister Murphy and the government are absolutely failing to tackle this crisis”. 

“Until we see the kinds of actions that many of us have been calling for two years now, which are focused on prevention, such as the introduction of the Focus Ireland amendment … alongside a more aggressive campaign of purchasing turnkey properties to move families out of emergency accommodation … Without those two types of actions the figures are going to continue to get worse,” he said. 

Echoing the words of Ó Broin, Focus Ireland said that it believes that the new figures show there will be no end to the crisis without a shift in policy by the government. 

“Focus Ireland has repeatedly highlighted through our services and research that the main reason families are becoming homeless is that they are being evicted from their homes by private landlords due to properties being sold or repossessed,” Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said. 

“It can take several meaningful steps to make people more secure in their homes. Much more can – and must be – done if we are to end this terrible human crisis and protect the childhoods of nearly 4,000 children currently homeless.” 

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