Simon Communities respond as new Emergency Accommodation Figures are at the highest level ever recorded at 9,872

Numbers in need of social housing remain too high 

The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that the numbers of people trapped in emergency accommodation have increased again and have hit yet another record high, according to figures released for June 2018 by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. 


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. At the heart of this is the lack of secure, affordable housing. 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 is so unfair because there is no way out. 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. The number of people counted in this report are the visible and statistical embodiment of a broken system, yet they represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of housing instability and insecurity.”

“We are deeply concerned that we continue to hear suggestions from Minister Eoghan Murphy of moving from monthly to quarterly reporting on these figures. In the midst of the greatest housing and homelessness crisis that we have known, it is vital that we have robust and comparable data. This facilitates planning and gives an indication of the trends and scale of the issue across the country.”


Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities also commented on the provisional results of the 2018 Summary of Social Housing Assessments released today. 

“It is welcome that the numbers of households on the social housing waiting list has dropped 16% from 85,799 to 71,858; however this number remains far too high. Behind these figures are real people who are trying to live their lives and build a permanent, secure home for themselves and their families. We would also point out that the majority of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) recipients are not included on the main social housing waiting list as the State deems their social

housing needs as met. This is problematic as tenants in the private rental sector, including HAP recipients, have poor security of tenure and lack rent certainty. Most HAP recipients are on the social housing transfer lists but the Government does not publish these figures. Ensuring people have access to social and affordable housing will mean that people can plan for their future. We need the State, in conjunction with Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, to build social and affordable housing across all tenure types within sustainable communities nationwide.”

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 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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