Number of people in Emergency Accommodation reaches over 9,000 for the first time

Simon Communities respond to January 2018 national emergency accommodation figures

The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that it is deeply concerning to see that the numbers in emergency accommodation reach over 9,000 people for the first time. 9,104 men, women and children remain stuck in overcrowded emergency accommodation, according to figures released for January 2018 by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, an increase of 27% from January 2017. Over 500 people entered emergency accommodation in January. These numbers show a significant increase from the previous month, December 2017.

  • 1,517 families are living in emergency accommodation, an increase of 29% since January 2017 when the figure was 1,172 families. 
  • 3,267 children are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 36% when compared with January 2017 when the figure was 2,407 children.
  • 3,715 people without dependents in their care are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 17% from January 2017 when the figure was 3,179.


Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that it is unacceptable that this number of men, women and children remain in emergency accommodation, over four years since the housing and homelessness crisis began.

“It is so important that we don’t stop being shocked by these figures, every one of these 9,104 people is someone’s son or daughter, someone’s brother of sister, someone’s mother or father. These figures only count those who are staying in Section 10 funded accommodation so the figures don’t include rough sleepers or those in squats, women and children in refuges, or people who are hidden homeless staying with family or friends as they have nowhere else to go. There are also many thousands more living with housing insecurity, living with daily uncertainty not knowing of they will have a home next week or next month. This is no way for people and families to live. The pace of building much needed social and affordable homes too slow and there is an ongoing reliance on a broken rental sector. Without an accessible private rental sector or social housing, people have nowhere to go if they cannot afford to rent and this isn’t fair. We know that many people entering emergency accommodation are doing so because they have been forced out of the private rental sector. Security of tenure and rent certainty are critical to prevent homelessness. ”

“There must be a move away from private sector reliance and the commodification of housing. The failure to deliver secure asocial and affordable housing has been a leading cause of homelessness and a major impediment to exiting homelessness for low income households. We need to start building social and affordable housing across all tenure types within sustainable communities nationwide. There must a concerted focus on preventing people from losing the homes that they have. Around 183,000 homes lie empty in Ireland. Within this, there is more than enough to house all those living in emergency accommodation. The potential to deliver much needed housing supply quickly is significant and it is deeply disappointing to us that the Empty Homes Strategy has not been published.”

The Simon Communities deliver support, housing, homeless and treatment services to over 11,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness on an annual basis.


For media queries and interview requests

Helen McCormack

Tel: 01 671 1606/ 085 806 5141


About Simon Communities

The Simon Communities in Ireland are a network of eight regionally based independent Simon Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East that share common values and ethos in tackling all forms of homelessness throughout Ireland, supported by a National Office. The Simon Communities have been providing services in Ireland for over 45 years.  The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 11,000 people and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year. Whatever the issue, for as long as we are needed, Simon’s door is always open. For more information please log on to 

Services range from

  • Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk;
  • Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence;
  • Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;
  • Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.

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