Simon Communities respond as new Emergency Accommodation Figures are at the highest level ever recorded at 9,846

Numbers trapped in emergency accommodation increase by 2% since last month. 

The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that the numbers of people trapped in emergency accommodation have increased again and are at the highest level ever recorded according to figures released for May 2018 by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. The figures report:


  • 1,742 families are living in emergency accommodation, an increase of 34% since May 2017 when the figure was 1,302 families. 
  • 3,826 children are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 41% when compared with May 2017 when the figure was 2,708 children.
  • 3,632 adults, people without dependents in their care are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 13% from May 2017 when the figure was 3,211.


Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that it is deeply troubling and frustrating to see the figures increase yet again.  

“Living in emergency accommodation is traumatic, stressful and filled with uncertainty. We also know that the impact of homelessness on individuals, families and children is significant in terms of their overall health and wellbeing. We need urgent action from the Government and the support of the whole cabinet to address this. At the heart of this is the lack of secure, affordable housing. There also must be a concerted focus on prevention, ensuring people don’t lose their homes in the first place.  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. They are trapped and it’s terribly unfair. These figures don’t include rough sleepers or those in squats, women and children in refuges, those is direct provision 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 if they will have a home next week or next month.”

“It is not clear whether people have once again been removed from these figures as has happened with the last two reports. If there are individuals and households without a tenancy or license agreement in place they should be included in the figures until they have a more permanent, secure arrangement in place such as a HAP or social housing.”

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


Homelessness – the numbers

  • During one week in May 2018 (latest available figures), there were 9,846 people living in emergency accommodation, including 3,632 adults without dependents in their care and 1,742 families composed of 2,388 adults and 3,826  children. (Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government April 2018).
  • On the night of 27th March 2018, there were 110 people without a place to sleep in Dublin City. Unfortunately, Dublin is the only area where an official rough sleeper count takes place, making it difficult to get a countrywide rough sleeping picture. (Dublin Regional Homeless Executive 2018).
  • Locked Out of the Market X found that 93% of rental properties are beyond the reach for those in receipt of state housing support (Simon Communities, 2018).


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 40 years.  The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 8,300 individuals 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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