26th August 2022
Record Number of People in Homelessness as Simon Communities of Ireland Call for Action on the 166,000 vacant homes in Budget 2023
With a new record of 10,568 people in homelessness, the Simon Communities of Ireland are once again calling on the Government to take action in Budget 2023. These are the highest numbers recorded by the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government, since October 2019 (10,514). The latest figures show the number of people in emergency homeless accommodation has risen for the seventh consecutive month.
As part of a range of measures outlined in their pre-budget submission, the Simon Communities of Ireland are calling for 5,000 vacant properties to be brought back into use, through the Repair and Lease Scheme for people in homelessness and on the social housing waiting list as well as increased funding towards homeless prevention and reformed HAP rates.
The 10,568 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in July represents an increase of .7% (76 people) in one month and a 30% increase (2,436 people) since this time last year.
- 1423 were families – this is 38 (2.7%) more than the previous month (1385 families)
- 5140 were single adults – this is a 37 (0.7%) decrease on the previous month (5177 single adults).
- 3137 were Children/Dependents – this is up 66 (2.1%) on the previous month (3071 dependents)
- 1239 were Young People aged 18-24 – this is a decrease of 7 on the previous month (1246), but up 296 (31.4%) year on year from 943 in July 2021.
- There was also a record number of adults (7431) and people aged 45-65 (2041).
Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communication at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:
“The record number of people in homeless emergency accommodation is even more disturbing when we consider the depth of the current housing crisis. The previous peak of homeless numbers was seen in October 2019. At that time, 3,500 properties were available to rent according to Daft.ie’s Rental Report, compared to just 716 available now, and those few properties are completely unaffordable. We are seeing landlords leaving the private rental market and the cost of living crisis continues to bite..
In this context, the State needs to take emergency action now to increase housing supply. It is deeply disheartening and concerning to see a record high number of 10,568 people stuck in emergency homeless accommodation while over 166,000 homes are vacant throughout the country. Our pre-budget submission calls on the Government to bring 5,000 vacant homes into use in 2023 through a renewed Repair and Lease Scheme to house people in homelessness and those waiting on social housing.
With the housing and inflation crisis taking its toll, the Government must act urgently to provide homes. The current actions of the State are not sufficient to turn the tide in the context of the level of crisis we are experiencing.
A crisis like the one we are seeing in homelessness requires a crisis response. Action on vacancy is one of the few areas where the State can instigate that crisis response to meet the challenge of homelessness.”