27th January 2022
11,632 in homelessness at the end of December 2022; another record breaking figure – Simon Communities of Ireland
December 2022 saw 11,632 people in emergency homeless accommodation. This is the sixth consecutive month of record breaking figures and the twelfth consecutive month of increasing homelessness. It is the first time since the department began publishing these figures (in 2014) that the number of people experiencing homelessness has increased for 12 consecutive months in the calendar year.
The Simon Communities of Ireland are again highlighting the need for urgent action to alleviate the number of people entering homelessness and increase move on before the moratorium on evictions is lifted in eight weeks.
The 11,632 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in December 2022 represents an increase of 0.78% (90 people) in one month and a 30.49% increase (2718 people) since this time last year.
- 1,594 were families – this is 22 (1.36%) less than the previous month (1,616 families)
- 5571 were single adults – this is an increase of 148 (2.7%) on the previous month (5,423 single adults). This is a record high number of single adults in homelessness.
- 3,442 were Children/Dependents – this is an decrease of 52 (1.49%) on the previous month (3,494 dependents)
- 1,387 were Young People aged 18-24 – this is an increase of 1.17% on the previous month (1,371), and up 458 (49.3%) year on year from 929 in December 2021. This is a record high number of young people in homelessness.
Wayne Stanley, Executive Director of the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:
“It is profoundly upsetting to see homelessness continue to increase. We usually see a trend in December where the number of people depending on emergency homeless accommodation falls as family and friends offer respite over the Christmas period. While this support was evident again last month, and we did see a fall in the number of families and children in homelessness, overall we saw an increase in December for the first time in six years.
This is a further indication of the need for 2023 to be a year of delivery for those at the sharpest end of the ongoing housing crisis. It is very clear from frontline experience, our Locked Out of the Market reports and Department of Housing figures, that the private market does not have the capacity to provide the secure affordable accommodation that is needed.
We are seeing a drop in the number of people able to leave homelessness into the private rental sector with the support of HAP – a form of social housing support.
According to Department of Housing figures, only 221 people in Q3 of 2022 moved out of homelessness into rented accommodation; a 310% decrease from 905 people in Q3 2021.
Further figures also show that the total stock of HAP properties has fallen by 2,649 (4%) homes between 1st January 2022 and 1st January 2023.”
“This is due to a lack of availability in the rental market – and a lack of affordability in what is available. Our latest Locked out of the Market report found just 41 properties across 16 study areas available to rent within HAP limits.
In the coming weeks, we need the Government to look again at the options available to prevent homelessness and to support people to move on from homelessness. To that end, the Government must plan for the extension of the moratorium on evictions while continuing to work on delivering homes to ensure that the extension is not needed.
We will be asking them again to look at the Simon Homeless Prevention Bill and continue to encourage Local Authorities to expand the tenant in situ scheme. We want Local Authorities to review the allocation of public housing to those in homelessness with a view to supporting more families and individuals to move on from homelessness. The potential stock of vacant properties in the State needs to be unlocked, and in the medium term, innovations like modular building – employed throughout Europe – need to be rolled out here at scale.”
*Tenant in situ scheme – where local authorities purchase a property where there is a HAP tenant and the landlord is selling up.