Homeless record nears 14,000 mark as new record broken

Mike Finnerty 28 Mar 2024

The final homeless report of Leo Varadkar’s spell as Taoiseach does not paint a positive picture for Government.

Homeless figures for February 2024 sit at 13,841, the highest since records began.

In 2018, Varadkar declared homelessness a “national emergency.”

The figures reveal that over 10,000 people are now homeless in Dublin for the first time.

For context, Northside communities such as Rusk and Portmarnock have populations of roughly 11,000 according to the last census.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said in January “those without a home remain the top priority for this Government.”

72% of homeless adults in Ireland availed of emergency accommodation in Dublin when the most recent round of figures were recorded.

The statistics breakdown from the Department of Housing show that 55% of homeless people in Ireland are Irish citizens, 23% are from the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom, while the remaining 22% are from non-European Economic Area countries.

Figures from quarter 4 of 2023 showed that 744 adults exited emergency accommodation, while 1,490 people were prevented from entering into emergency accommodation as a result of local authority lettings and private renting arrangements.

Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon said “the latest unrelenting climb in figures now means that Dublin alone now has over 10,000 men, women and children in homelessness – surpassing the figure for the entire population of Ireland in homelessness from just under two years ago”

“This is a devastating figure for our capital city. As the clocks move forward this weekend, spare a thought for those for whom time stands still.”

“The longer days and shorter nights should not detract from the pressing need to adapt the housing system and accompanying strategies to better cater to the specific requirements those in the grip of homelessness. Behind the numbers are real people, real families, and real children worrying about where they will spend their nights. Each statistic represents a life in turmoil, a family facing uncertainty, a child robbed of stability.”

“At Dublin Simon Community we believe it is our responsibility to shine a light on the unfairness of a housing system where people live in limbo around the basic human right to security and shelter.”

Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan remarked that Government are “more interested in jockeying for power than solving the housing disaster.”

“This calamitous Government is nearly four years in office and is now moving onto its third Taoiseach. Throughout their tenure, they have managed to turn a housing crisis into a housing disaster with an additional 5,142 people becoming homeless since 2020.”

“We simply cannot, and must not, accept this appalling level of homelessness. Action is needed now to protect people from the trauma of losing their home.”

“Taoiseach-in-waiting Simon Harris must step up, where his predecessors have failed, and immediately introduce a ban on no-fault evictions.

“There is no acceptable level of homelessness. This is not a government that is short on funds to tackle the crisis. Ensuring that every child grows up with a home should be the bare minimum for the new Taoiseach.”

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