Homeless numbers increased by over 15 percent

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has released their latest figure for homelessness in Ireland. The report shows the number of people that are trying to access local authority managed emergency accommodation.

According to the monthly reports, as of September 2018, there is a total of 9,698 people homeless. This is a 15.8 percent increase from just one year before when 8,374 people were without housing in Ireland.  

There are currently 5,869 adults looking for shelter throughout Ireland. The majority of these are male (3,275) as against 2,594 females.

The report also shows more than two-thirds of homeless are between the ages of 25-44 (3,507). There were over 893 adults aged 18 to 24 living in emergency homeless accommodation.

Map 2017

This represents an 11 percent increase when compared to the figures from September 2017 (806). Overall, 52 percent of the homeless looking for shelter were in supported temporary accommodation which includes hostels, with on-site professional support.

Across the Dublin region there is enormous pressure in providing emergency accommodation. Dublin has the highest rate of homelessness in Ireland and the report shows that there were 3,940 adults seeking shelter.

Map 2018

The northwest of Ireland including Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, is the region with the lowest figures of people seeking shelter (54). Leitrim was the only county that accounted for nobody accessing homelessness accommodation services.

It was announced that €2.3 billion would be dedicated to housing for the 2019 budget although this has been criticised by many charities. Focus Ireland claim that the budget “is not a game changer for people who are homeless”.

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government told TheCity: “The budget [for] 2019 reflects the commitment to dealing with homelessness by allocating an additional €30 million for homelessness services – bringing to €146 million the total for 2019 – €60 million extra in capital funding for additional emergency accommodation and €1.25 billion for the delivery of new social homes. This will deliver 10,000 new social homes next year.

“A national Director of Housing First was appointed in February to work with the most vulnerable of the homeless population and a National Implementation Plan is in place. This plan seeks to extend the programme nationwide with targets for Housing First tenancies in each local authority. Combined, the plan will result in almost 1,000 former rough sleepers and long-term users of emergency accommodation having their housing and support needs met.

“The numbers [for] homelessness are too high.  However, despite the high levels of homelessness, results are being achieved.  Over 4,700 adults exited homelessness into an independent tenancy in 2017. That does not include the children who were with these families. We are on target to achieve over 5,000 exits this year,” said the spokesman.

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