Numbers in emergency accommodation are still far too high

Simon Communities respond to March 2018 national emergency accommodation figures


The Simon Communities in Ireland have responded to figures released for March 2018 by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, saying that the total number of 9,681 men, women and children in emergency accommodation remains far too high. The housing and homelessness organisation welcomed the slight decrease in the overall number of adults and children in emergency accommodation but said it was deeply concerned to see the continuing increase in the number of single adults in emergency accommodation.  


  • 1,720 families are living in emergency accommodation, an increase of 37% since March 2017 when the figure was 1,256 families.  
  • 3,646 children are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 38% when compared with March 2017 when the figure was 2,643 children. 
  • 3,633 people without dependents in their care are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 12.5% from March 2017 when the figure was 3,227.


Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that it is important to remember that these numbers reflect real people and real families who are trying to live their lives in very difficult circumstances.


“Since the launch of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland, the numbers of people trapped in emergency accommodation have increased by 50%. These figures don’t include rough sleepers or those in squats, women and children in refuges, or people who are ‘hidden homeless’; those 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. Every person has their own story; what is common to all is that homeless and housing insecurity is traumatic, stressful and filled with uncertainty. We in the Simon Communities are doing everything we can in the face of this crisis, our key focus is working with people to address their immediate issues whilst also supporting them to plan for their future.”


“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. 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. The pace of building much needed social and affordable homes too slow and there is an overreliance on a broken rental sector.”


“We need to start building social and affordable housing across all tenure types within sustainable communities nationwide. People must be prevented from losing homes that they already have. The Government must step up, stop using short-term solutions and take affirmative action to ensure that the numbers of people entering into and remaining in emergency accommodation stops now.”


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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