28th October 2022
10,975 in Homelessness as Simon Communities of Ireland call for focus on 166,000 Vacant Homes while the Moratorium on Evictions is in Place.
As a new record of 10,975 people in homelessness is announced, the Simon Communities of Ireland have described the numbers as shocking and confirmation of the need for the moritorum on eviction. They highlighted that the Government must use the time, that the moritorum is in place, effectively and are calling on them to focus on the 166,000 vacant homes around the country.
The 10,975 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in September represents an increase of 1.6% (170 people) in one month and a 29.5% increase (2,500 people) since this time last year.
- 1,532 were families – this is 49 (3.3%) more than the previous month (1,483 families)
- 5,158 were single adults – this is a decrease of 26 on the previous month (5,184 single adults).
- 3,342 were Children/Dependents – this is an increase of 122 (3.8 %) on the previous month (3,220 dependents)
- 1,263 were Young People aged 18-24 – this is a decrease of 11 on the previous month (1,274), and up 274 (27.7%) year on year from 989 in September 2021.
- There was a record number of adults (7,633), adult women (2,801) people aged 25-44 (4,116), and people aged 45-65 (2,088).
Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communication at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:
“The 10,975 people living in emergency accommodation recorded in the last week in September is a shocking confirmation of the need for the moratorium on evicitons introduced by Government this week. It also has to be seen as a call to action to get ahead of the crisis in the months that the moritorium is in place. That will require a new focus and ambition on issues such as vacancy.
We believe that the moratorium on evictions will keep people, and families in particular, in their homes and protect them from ending up in Emergency Homeless Accommodation or even on the street, over the winter period. We have to be clear that it is a welcome response to the crisis, but it is not an answer to it.
We can see that there is an appetite to tackle the high number of vacant homes across the country. Simon Communites of Ireland have proposed that, for the next two years, a focus would be given to 166,000 vacant homes identified in the census as a way to increase our social housing stock. We have around 120,000 people in need of social housing between those on the social housing waiting list and people in HAP and Rent Supplement tenancies. If the Repair and Lease Scheme is overhauled and enhanced to bring just 3% of vacant homes into the public housing system over the next two years, this would give us an additional 5,000 homes to be allocated to those that require them, in addition to those committed to in Housing for All.
The moratorium will provide the breathing room needed for the State to find solutions. We need to get ahead of the crisis while also ensuring commitments made in public housig are delivered. There are opportunities to address the homelessness crisis, but they need to be pursued with a singular focus and ambition.”
For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 / firstname.lastname@example.org