30th September 2022
As Homelessness Reaches another Record High, Simon Communities of Ireland call for the Government to Take Action Before Winter
As Simon Week 2022 comes to a close the new record of 10,805 people in homelessness announced today show how urgently solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis need to be advanced. The Simon Communities of Ireland are once again calling on the Government to take meaningful action to get ahead of the homelessness crisis.
The 10,805 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in August represents an increase of 2.24 % (237 people) in one month and a 31.58% increase (2593 people) since this time last year.
- 1483 were families – this is 60 (4.2%) more than the previous month (1423 families)
- 5184 were single adults – this is an increase of 44 on the previous month (5140 single adults). This is a record high number of single people in homelessness.
- 3220 were Children/Dependents – this is an increase of 83 (2.65 %) on the previous month (3137 dependents)
- 1274 were Young People aged 18-24 – this is an increase of 35 on the previous month (1239), and up 290 (39.5%) year on year from 984 in August 2021. This is a record high number of young people in homelessness.
- There was also a record number of adults (7585), people aged 25-44 (4078), and people aged 45-65 (2069).
“Seeing a new record level of recorded homelessness with little hope that the situation will improve is devastating. 10,805 men, women and children in emergency accommodation is a shocking figure.
While we acknowledge the positive measures in Budget 2023 it offered little in terms of innovative change to our housing system that will stem the flow of families and individuals into homelessness or provide more options to support those experiencing homelessness to move on.
The trajectory of the homelessness crisis heading into the winter months is deeply concerning. Solutions are needed now and the Simon Communities see three areas that will make a difference. Firstly, improved Homeless HAP rates. We know that Homeless Hap rates are under review, this needs to be published and enacted without delay.
Secondly, it’s almost a year since the Simon Bill received cross party support and passed the second stage in Dáil Éireann. The Government have committed to enacting the provisions in this Bill, which would stop homelessness before it starts. The Bill needs to be enacted now.
Finally, vacancy must be made a priority for increasing our housing stock. At our Simon Week Conference earlier this week, we heard from homelessness and housing experts who supported our call for a renewed repair and lease scheme.
We need to look at every opportunity and the Government need to take Covid 19 crisis type actions if we are to reduce the homelessness numbers”
As part of Simon Week 2022, the Simon Communities of Ireland are calling for 5,000 vacant properties to be brought into use through the Repair and Lease Scheme for people in homelessness and on the social housing waiting list.
Information about Simon Week and proposals to tackle vacancy can be viewed here: https://www.simon.ie/simon-week-2022/
For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 / firstname.lastname@example.org