Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Advertisement

Homelessness: Record high of 10,805 people in emergency accommodation last month

In total, there were 7,585 adults who accessed emergency accommodation in the last week of August.

Image: Shutterstock

Updated Sep 30th 2022, 3:50 PM

THE NUMBER OF homeless people in Ireland has hit record figures, with over 10,800 people accessing emergency accommodation last month.

The latest figures from the Department of Housing show that there were 10,805 people accessing emergency accommodation in the last week of August, surpassing the previous record of July

In July, a total of 10,568 people were accessing emergency accommodation. 

August is the eighth consecutive month where the number of people accessing emergency accommodation has risen.

In total, there were 7,585 adults who accessed emergency accommodation in the last week of August. Of those, 4,854 were male and 2,731 were female.

A majority of those people were located in Dublin, with 5,516 homeless adults reported last month.

There were also 3,220 children recorded as accessing emergency accommodation.

The Dublin Simon Community has said it is “exasperated” by the increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation reported today. 

“Behind these numbers are people who are losing hope for a life beyond homelessness,” Dublin Simon Community CEO Sam McGuinness said. 

“As the record-breaking levels of people in emergency accommodation experience endless waiting, their mental health and physical health is declining,” McGuinness said.

“They are developing additional support needs which will make it increasingly difficult for them to live independently again. They are losing motivation, their resilience is fading, they are starting to give up.

He noted that “among the people who make up this month’s increase are older people with complex health needs who never envisioned themselves in this situation and people in employment whose colleagues have no idea they are sleeping in emergency services at night”.

“The picture is ominous as we face into the cold, dark winter months ahead and no real clarity or hope in Budget 2023 to support exits out of homelessness,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the CEO of Focus Ireland cautioned that “there is a risk that Government comes to treat homelessness as inevitable”.

Instead, Pat Dennigan said: “It is the result of bad political choices and can be solved by the right policies. 

He added that “the number of landlords selling up has had a huge negative effect on the monthly homeless figures” and that the “government has failed to respond to a catastrophe”.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin’s Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said the figures highlight the need to “immediately introduce a winter ban on evictions”.

Deputy Ó Broin added: “The Minister (for Housing, Darragh O’Brien) also needs to accelerate the tenant-in-situ scheme to prevent more families becoming homeless and increase and accelerate the delivery of social homes.”

Tax credit for renters

new tax credit for renters was one of the measures introduced in yesterday’s €11 billion budget.

It’s worth €500 per calendar year and will apply for 2022, and can be claimed until 2025.

Around 400,000 people will be eligible for the tax credit, which will cost the Exchequer around €200 million.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed yesterday that landlords must be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board in order for tenants to avail of the tax credit.

Landlords are required by law to register their tenancy but this isn’t always done, as was the case with numerous TDs who rented out properties.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald claimed the credit could “fuel a further rent hike”.

During Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday, McDonald accused Taoiseach Micheál Martin of leaving “the door wide open for more rent hikes, more exploitation, and more hardship”.

She added: “Taoiseach, you have messed this up, and the renters of Ireland deserve more than this half-baked measure. So I want you to correct it.”

McDonald called on the government to “give renters a real break by putting a month’s rent back into their pockets through a refundable tax credit” and “provide certainty and protection by banning rent increases for three years”.

However, Martin noted that “there is a 2% limit on the rent pressure zones as we speak”.  

The Sinn Féin leader said the credit “won’t make a dent for people paying average rents of over €2,000 per month in Dublin, or those paying nearly €1,500 a month across the state”.

With reporting by Diarmuid Pepper

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Read next:

COMMENTS (44)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel