As Latest Emergency Accommodation Figures released Simon Communities of Ireland state Government must ensure lessons of the pandemic are learned.

The Simon Communities of Ireland have said that while any decrease is welcome, over 8700 people in emergency homeless accommodation is still far too high and requires action from the Government in Budget 2021 in October to stop homelessness before it starts.  

The department of Housing, Planning and Local Government found that 8,702 people accessed emergency accommodation in August. This represents a decrease of 8,728 people in emergency accommodation since July. The new figures show: 

  • 8702 men, women and children are now in emergency accommodation, a slight decrease since July 2020, when the figure was 8,728.  
  • 1,120 families are living in emergency accommodation, a decrease of almost 2% from July 2020.  
  • 4,463 single individuals are now stuck in emergency accommodation, an increase of 1% compared with July 2020. 

Wayne Stanley, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities stated “During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, emergency measures put in place by the government led to a very significant reduction in the number of people accessing emergency accommodation, between April and June. The Government has an opportunity to take what we have learned in this period and turn it into sustained action against homelessness. There is a golden opportunity in Budget 2021 and beyond to stop homelessness before it starts. 

Budget 2021 must take meaningful action to ensure that the progress made during the pandemic is sustainable and long-term, otherwise we are at risk returning to the levels of increasing homelessness seen for the last 6 year.   

As fears for a second surge of the pandemic grows, it is vital that the preventative measures implemented earlier this year are reinstated.  

We know that this is not an unsolvable problem and that structural measures can be taken to end housing insecurity and homelessness for people. There must be a sustained resolve to stop homelessness before it starts – prevention will keep people in the homes that they already have. We need to ensure that this vulnerable group are to the forefront of government actions as we face into a budget framed in the context of the economic uncertainty.” 

For media queries and interview requests 

 Kate O’Reilly 

Tel: 087 2890955  

E: communications@simoncommunity.com 

About Simon Communities 

The Simon Communities support over 16,700 men, women, and children. We have 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 visit www.simon.ie. 

Services include: 

  • 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. 
  • Food banks, drop-in centres and soup runs. 

 

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