Homeless figures slightly drop from record high; still over 13,000 homelessMike Finnerty 26 Jan 2024
The latest homeless figures released by the Department of Housing showed a slight decline compared to the all-time high set in November, but the number still remains over 13,000.
Commenting on the reports published today, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien TD, said “those without a home remain the top priority for this Government.”
“My Department is making funding of €242 million available for the delivery of homeless services in 2024 – a 12.6% increase on the Budget 2023 allocation and we have been clear that there will be no obstacle in funding much needed services.
“In the last quarter of last year, nationwide, 609 households exited homelessness – an increase in the last quarter of 7.6% in household exits and specifically an increase of 11.3% in family exits. So we are moving more and more people than before into permanent and stable homes.
O’Brien acknowledged there were still major issues with homelessness in Ireland however.
“Despite this, there is no doubt whatsoever that immense pressure remains on our homelessness services. Supply of housing and accommodation – social, affordable and private – remains the ultimate solution to addressing the challenge in the longer term.”
Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon, said “the total homeless population of our biggest city is approaching the entire homeless population of Ireland from a little less than two years ago.”
“At this rate, we can expect to see even more grim milestones and further overwhelm to the system.”
She noted the figures do not include those rough sleeping and those on our streets seeking asylum.
“The emergency accommodation system itself is bursting at the seams and staff are working at and beyond capacity to meet the growing demand for services.”
“In addition, the housing supply has failed to deliver on substantial exits from homelessness in 2023 in Dublin. For every two families entering emergency accommodation, only one family moves to a home within the same timeframe. Likewise, for every four single adults entering homelessness, only one exits and enters a new home. People are being failed by the system and the detrimental effects of long-term stays in emergency accommodation on mental and physical health are well documented.”
Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan Figures released today by the Department of Housing show that 3,962 children spent Christmas living in homeless emergency accommodation.Commenting, Social Democrats housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan said “there are 520 more children homeless than December 2022 and there has been a shocking 49% rise since this Government has taken office.” “Growing up without a home can have devastating impacts on the development of a child. Education, friendships and family life all suffer without the basic stability of a place to call home.” “When is the Government going to treat this crisis with the urgency it deserves? Will there be another 520 children homeless next Christmas? This has to stop.”