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Members of the public gathered in Dublin last month for a Raise the Roof rally to in response to homelessness and the housing crisis. Sam Boal

Over 10,000 people who contacted housing non-profit were at risk of homelessness

It is among the figures in Threshold’s annual report released today.

OVER 10,000 PEOPLE who contacted housing non-profit Threshold in a single year were at risk of becoming homeless. 

In its annual report covering last year, the charity has said that tenancy terminations “remain the largest issue” facing private tenants for the fifth consecutive year, with 29% of queries focusing on it.

Threshold advisors assisted with 10,729 households at risk of homelessness in 2021.
Roughly 2,000 households contacted Threshold twice during this 12-month period on separate issues.

More than half of private tenants who contacted Threshold last year were at risk of entering homelessness, according to national housing charity Threshold’s 2021 Annual Report.

It shows that advisors assisted a total of 19,947 households in 2021, of which 10,729 were deemed to be at risk of entering homelessness.

A total of over 60,000 contacts were made to Threshold in 2021.

If the crisis is to be addressed, then the charity believes affordable and secure housing “must be accelerated”.

Tenancy termination remained the largest issue facing private tenants for the fifth consecutive year, with 29% of queries to the charity about a termination of tenancy last year.

Threshold says its advisors encountered a larger level of queries concerning standards and repairs compared to previous years, with 10% of private tenants seeking advice on their accommodation.

“This may be a result of delays in carrying out repairs during the public health restrictions, throughout parts of 2020 and 2021.”

Commenting on the launch of the report, Threshold chairperson Liam Reid said the housing crisis remains one of Ireland’s greatest challenges.

The charity’s 2021 Annual Report also reflected the “dedicated work that Threshold is doing to support private renters remain in their homes during this challenging time”, Reid added.

“Threshold believes that every person in Ireland is entitled to equal access to secure and affordable housing,” he said.

“Our advisors support tenants with expert advice on a range of key issues from leases to living standards, and as an organisation we advocate for greater tenancy rights to ensure improved affordability and security of tenure.

“Threshold’s work is critical, as we await the development of a better affordable and accessible housing supply to alleviate the pressures of this ongoing housing crisis.”

Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty noted that almost 12,000 households which it assisted had contacted Threshold for the first time.

“Our advisors supported this stark number of households with over 22,000 issues, meaning that some households faced two separate challenges in their private rental accommodation in the space of 12 months and required Threshold’s advice or help to deal with these.” 


The report said that Threshold represented 255 households at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and assisted 291 households to submit disputes during 2021, assisting a further three clients to submit cases to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Two clients were represented at the WRC “concerning discrimination regarding the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) or rent supplement”, the organisation said. 

Across 2021, it said it identified 121 private renters who it claimed were discriminated against as they were seeking HAP.

“In many cases, the Threshold advisor was able to assist the client to resolve the situation with the landlord,” it said, before adding: “In some cases, however, the client was forced to find another home.”

The charity highlighted the case of ‘Bridget’, a private tenant in her 60s, who lives alone and is reliant on HAP, but fell into rent arrears in 2021 and could not afford to pay the “top-up” on the payment.

As a result, her landlord issued a notice of tenancy termination. This left the woman “terrified” as she had no other place to live, Threshold said. 

It said that after she contacted Threshold, she entered a repayment plan with her landlord and identified supports to assist her rental payment.

Following this, “Bridget’s landlord withdrew the notice of termination”, the charity said.

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