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Homelessness

Threshold worked with over 12,000 households deemed at risk of homelessness last year

The housing charity supported more than 12,000 households last year, a 12% increase on the previous year.

STAFF AT HOUSING charity Threshold worked with more than 12,000 households last year which were deemed to be at risk of homelessness, an increase of 12% on 2021 figures.

Threshold provides free, independent and confidential advice and support to tenants in the private rented sector.

The housing charity today launched its Annual Report for 2022 which outlined that the housing charity assisted over 18,600 households last year.

These households comprised 39,108 adults and 14,548 children.

Around 14,500 of these cases were households that opened a new case during the course of the year and of these, close to 11,000 were seeking Threshold’s assistance for the first time.

Last year, Threshold worked on 12,031 cases where the household was at risk of homelessness.

This was a 12% increase on 2021 figures, when 10,729 households Threshold worked with were deemed to be at risk of homelessness.

Last year, close to 6,000 at-risk cases were closed and 4,321 households – comprising 5,883 adults and 3,905 children – were prevented from entering homelessness.

However, 455 households that Threshold worked with last year entered homelessness services and 259 were forced to stay with friends or family when their tenancy could not be protected and alternative housing could not be secured.

This was a considerable increase on the year previous.

In 2021, 209 households that Threshold worked with entered homelessness services and 72 were forced to stay with friends or family.

Threshold said this “points to the significant decline in the availability of homes to rent and the lack of alternative housing options for people”.

The Annual Report also notes that a growing number of people are getting in touch electronically, via email, webchat and video consultations.

Although last year saw the return of face-to-face consultations after the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an increase in the number of online video consultations at 197.

Meanwhile, Threshold advisors answered 47,161 calls last year, responded to 9,454 webchat queries (an average of 38 a day), and 6,838 people made initial contact by email.

Threshold also provided a Christmas On Call service last year between 24-31 December and answered 116 calls during this period.

Tenancy terminations, which Threshold said are usually due to landlords selling their property, was the main issue facing private renters who Threshold assisted last year.

Threshold’s report states that over 70% of those who entered homelessness last year had received a Notice of Termination from their landlord.

Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty said that the “significant decline in the availability of homes to rent and the lack of alternative housing options for people has made the work of stopping homelessness increasingly difficult”.

While he acknowledged government efforts to address the issue, he warned that “demand continues to outstrip supply and the ongoing crisis is not showing any real signs of abating”.

He added: “Rents remain stubbornly high – and continue to rise in some areas – while the number of landlords selling and exiting the market remains a major problem.

“We welcome the State initiatives being undertaken to tackle the myriad of factors driving the ongoing crisis, and hope these can be expanded so the situation can improve.”

Commenting on the launch of the report, Threshold chair Liam Reid said the charity is “committed to investing further in our services by hiring additional people, growing our income, and evolving our structures”.

He added: “These measures are aimed at ensuring we can keep more renters in their homes, advise more people, and increase our advocacy on behalf of people in the private rental sector.”

Threshold also thanked its donors and supporters for their financial assistance.

Just over a third of its income last year came from donations, legacies, and trusts at around €1.44 million, while close to two thirds (€2.73 million) came from charitable activities.

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