November 29th 2018: The Simon Communities in Ireland said that despite the Government’s ‘reclassification’ of people in emergency accommodation, the upwards trend continues. The numbers accessing emergency accommodation in the latest report from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has increased to 9,724 people.
The total number increased to 9,724 men women and children, an overall of 15% from since October 2017.
1,709 families are living in emergency accommodation, an increase of 17% since October 2017 when the figure was 1,463 families.
3,725 children are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 17% when compared with October 2017 when the figure was 3,194 children.
Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities:
‘9,724 people are living in a very stressful situation with no certainty about their future. Without an accessible private rental sector or social housing, people have nowhere to go if they cannot afford to rent. They are trapped and there is no way out for them. At the heart of this is the lack of secure, affordable housing. We would also point out that the majority of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) recipients are not included on the main social housing waiting list as the State deems their social
housing need met. This is problematic as tenants in the private rental sector, including HAP recipients, have poor security of tenure and lack rent certainty. Most HAP recipients are on the social housing transfer lists but the Government does not publish these figures.’
‘The rationale for the re-categorisation of households which the Department of Housing, Community and Local Government acknowledge have been removed from the figures remains unclear. If people are living in accommodation paid for by Section 10, in a temporary arrangement and without a tenancy they should be included in these numbers. The monthly numbers published are based on work agreed by the National Homeless Consultative Committee (NHCC) Data Sub Committee. But with this change we are no longer comparing like with like in terms of previous report methodology and we lose the trend data.’
Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that things on the ground are getting worse.
‘The numbers of people that the Simon Communities all around the country are working with are increasing dramatically year on year. Our Communities are doing all they can working with our voluntary and statutory partners to house and support people who have been impacted by the housing and homelessness crisis.’
‘We know that many people entering emergency accommodation are doing so because they have been forced out of the private rental sector. Security of tenure and rent certainty are critical to prevent homelessness. Without an accessible private rental sector or social housing, people have nowhere to go if they cannot afford to rent and this isn’t fair. The pace of building much needed social and affordable homes is too slow to meet the demand and there is an overreliance on a broken rental sector.’
The Simon Communities deliver support, housing, homeless and treatment services to over 11,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness on an annual basis.
For media queries and interview requests
Tel: 01 671 1606/ 085 806 5141
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities support over 11,000 men, women and children. We have almost 50 years of experience providing homeless, housing and treatment services to people facing the trauma and stress of homelessness. We are a network of independent Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East, responding to local needs and supported by a National Office in the areas of policy, research, communications and best practice. We share common values and ethos in tackling homelessness and, informed by our grassroots services, we campaign for more effective policies and legislation regionally, nationally and at European level. Whatever the issue, Simon’s door is always open for as long as we are needed. For more information, please log on to www.simon.ie
· Homelessness prevention, tenancy sustainment and resettlement.
· Street outreach, emergency accommodation and harm reduction.
· Housing with support and Housing First services.
· Homeless specific health and wellbeing services (counselling; addiction treatment and recovery; and mental health supports).
· Personal development, education, training and employment services.
· Foodbanks, drop-in centres and soup runs.