25th March 2022
Swift Action Needed as Homelessness Continues to Rise – Simon Communities of Ireland
The Simon Communities of Ireland are seeking increases in the rates of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) as the numbers in homeless emergency accommodation rise again.
According to the latest figures by the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government, there were 9492 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in Ireland during the last week of February 2022.
- 1180 were families – this is 61 (5.5%) more than the previous month (1119 families)
- 4907 were single adults – this is 119 (2.5%) more than the previous month (4788 single adults)
- 2667 were Children/Dependents – this is up 104 (4%) on the previous month (2563 dependents)
- 1159 were Young People aged 18-24 – this is up 48 (4.3%) on the previous month (1111) and up 383 (49.4%) year on year from 776 in February 2021.
This is an increase of 3.7% (342 people) in one month and a 15.2% increase (1254 people) since this time last year (8238 people in February 2021).
Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communication at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:
The ongoing increase in homelessness is deeply concerning. We know that the homelessness crisis has been driven by structural issues of affordability and supply in our housing system. This has been exacerbated as growing price inflation heaps further pressure on stretched households. Addressing these structural issues will take time but there are important actions to be taken that can help to alleviate the pressure and give additional protection to those at risk of homelessness. The rates for the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) should be increased to help support people out of homelessness. The Minister will be receiving a report from the Housing Agency on HAP rates in the coming days and his response to this needs to be swift in support of the most vulnerable in our society. Additionally, we welcome the Minister’s commitment to implementing the provisions of the Simon Homeless Prevention Bill, this needs to be prioritised and progressed
For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 / firstname.lastname@example.org