The Simon Communities of Ireland are proposing the inclusion of a question in Census 2027 seeking to capture the extent of hidden homelessness in Ireland.
The purpose of this question is to examine the prevalence and to better understand the types of ‘hidden’ homelessness in Ireland. This data is currently not captured. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage publishes monthly data on the number of people staying in emergency homeless accommodation. The data looks at the number of people staying in section 10 funded accommodation in the last week of the month prior. This data is a good indicator of homeless trends. However, this is not the entirety of homelessness. Many people experience different forms of homelessness that are not counted in these statistics:
- People sleeping rough,
- people temporarily staying with family and friends (couch surfing),
- those living in cars,
- women and children in domestic abuse refuges,
- those who have received citizenship but remain in direct provision centers due to a lack of accommodation options/support
These are all examples of people experiencing a form of homelessness that is not captured in official statistics and is therefore ‘hidden’. Learn more about hidden homelessness here.