25th November 2022
11,397 people face a bleak Christmas in homelessness – Simon Communities of Ireland
11,397 people living in emergency homeless accommodation are facing a Christmas in homelessness. This is the largest increase in homelessness since May 2020 and the first time it has passed 11,000.
The Simon Communities of Ireland see these shocking numbers (documenting an increase in homelessness that occurred prior to the moratorium on evictions came in) as confirmation of the need for the moratorium on evictions. They are calling on the Government to make 2023 the year of delivery with emergency action taken while the moratorium is in place, otherwise we will face continues increases in homelessness as seen when the Covid 19 moratorium was lifted.
The Simon Communities of Ireland are calling for the Government to focus on the 166,000 vacant homes around the country and to bring as many as possible into the public housing stock. This comes on the back of recent reports of underspend of the budget to build public housing and slow turnaround in vacancy local authority properties.
The 11,397 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in October represents an increase of 3.85% (422 people) in one month and a 29% increase (2567 people) since this time last year.
- 1,601 were families – this is 69 (4.5%) more than the previous month (1,532 families)
- 5,320 were single adults – this is an increase of 162 (3.1%) on the previous month (5,158 single adults).
- 3,480 were Children/Dependents – this is an increase of 138 (4.13%) on the previous month (3,342 dependents)
- 1,318 were Young People aged 18-24 – this is an increase of 55 (4.3%) on the previous month (1,263), and up 265 (25%) year on year from 1,053 in October 2021.
- There was record numbers seen across nearly all categories including a record high number of adults (7,917), single adults (5,320), adult men (4,974), adult women (2,943) people aged 18-24 (1,318), people aged 25-44 (4,258), and people aged 45-65 (2,179).
Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communication at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:
“11,397 people facing into Christmas in emergency homeless accommodation is completely unacceptable. The Simon Communities across Ireland will be there for those who need them but we have to see an end to this crisis. We need action from the Government that will quickly increase our social and affordable housing stock. The moratorium on evictions will provide some breathing room for vulnerable individuals and families facing eviction this winter. The Government must grasp the opportunity this offers.
Utilising some of the 166,000 vacant homes is one avenue Government can take, as well as ramping up the tenant in situ purchase scheme to take properties into state ownership, where an owner is selling up and leaving the market. These actions, particularly when the Department of Housing is facing nearly half a billion underspend at the end of 2022, are simply common sense.
Too many families and individuals are facing a bleak Christmas this year. The weeks ahead will be tough, and it will get tougher unless the Government delivers in the coming months and throughout 2023. 2023 needs to be the year of delivery to address the homelessness crisis. We include in this delivery, the holding of a referendum to insert the right to housing in the constitution. We believe that this is necessary to drive the required systemic change to our housing system. We will also be joining those marching under the Raise the Roof banner tomorrow to secure that change.”
For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 / email@example.com