Simon Communities respond as new Emergency Accommodation Figures are released

Housing and homelessness organisation call for clarity on the ‘re-categorisation’ of households


The Simon Communities in Ireland responded to the latest emergency accommodation report from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government by calling for clarity of the ‘reclassification’ of households removed from the numbers. The report, released today, says that 9,527 people accessed emergency accommodation.


1,698 families are living in emergency accommodation, an increase of 18% since August 2017 when the figure was 1,442 families. 


3,693 children are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 21% when compared with August 2017 when the figure was 3,048 children.


3,484 adults, people without dependents in their care are trapped in emergency accommodation, an increase of 8% from August 2017 when the figure was 3,235.


Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communitiessays that the reclassification of figures is confusing.


‘9,527 people in emergency accommodation is still far too many people who are living in a very stressful situation with no certainty about their future. Without an accessible private rental sector or social housing, people have nowhere to go if they cannot afford to rent. They are trapped and there is no way out for them. Where can they go? 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 real adults and children facing the reality of this broken system, yet they represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of housing instability and insecurity.

‘There is confusion on the re-categorisation of households which the Department acknowledge have been removed from the figures. If people are living in temporary apartments or houses, paid for by Section 10, this is still deemed emergency accommodation. Where are these figure recorded and reported on? This report shows a drop in the numbers of people living in emergency accommodation but as we are no longer comparing like with like in terms of previous report methodology, it is nearly impossible to compare the two.’

Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that things on the ground are getting worse.

‘The numbers of people that the Simon Communities all around the country are working with are increasing year on year. Our Communities are doing all they can working with our voluntary and statutory partners to house and support people who have been impacted by the housing and homelessness crisis. We worked with over 11,000 people last year and the numbers have increased since then. Every person has their own story; what is common to all is that homelessness and housing insecurity is traumatic, stressful and filled with uncertainty. The Simon Communities see this impact each and every day all across the country.’

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 support over 11,000 men, women and children. We have almost 50 years of experience providing homeless, housing and treatment services to people facing the trauma and stress of homelessness. We are a network of independent Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East, responding to local needs and supported by a National Office in the areas of policy, research, communications and best practice. We share common values and ethos in tackling homelessness and, informed by our grassroots services, we campaign for more effective policies and legislation regionally, nationally and at European level. Whatever the issue, Simon’s door is always open for as long as we are needed. For more information, please log on to


Services include:                                                                    

  • Homelessness prevention, tenancy sustainment and resettlement.
  • Street outreach, emergency accommodation and harm reduction.
  • Housing with support and Housing First services.
  • Homeless specific health and wellbeing services (counselling; addiction treatment and recovery; and mental health supports).
  • Personal development, education, training and employment services.
  • Foodbanks, drop-in centres and soup runs.


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