Friday, July 29, 2022

Kenneth Fox

With 10,492 people in homelessness, the Simon Communities of Ireland have said things are ‘beyond crisis point’.

Recommendations in their pre-budget submission include bringing 5,000 vacant properties back into use, through the Repair and Lease Scheme, for people in homelessness and on the social housing waiting list as well as increasing funding towards homeless prevention and reforming HAP rates.

The latest figures by the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government, show the number of people in emergency homeless accommodation has risen for the sixth consecutive month.

There were 10,492 men, women and children in homeless emergency accommodation in Ireland during the last week of June 2022.

This is an increase of 1.6 per cent (167 people) in one month and a 31 per cent increase (2,478 people) since this time last year.

It is only 22 away from the highest homeless figure recorded by the Department in October 2019 (10,514).

In terms of the breakdown of figures, 1,385 were families – this is 19 more than the previous month (1,366).

5,177 were single adults – this is 123 (2.4 per cnt) increase on the previous month (5,054 single adults).

Record numbers

They said it is the highest number of single adults in homelessness on record in the Department

Finally, there were 3,071 children/dependents – which is up by 43 (1.4 per cent) on the previous month (3,028).

Speaking about the figures, Wayne Stanley, head of policy and communication at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:

“The numbers today again highlight the need to take action to get ahead of the homelessness crisis.

“In our pre-budget submission launched today, we are raising 10 priority areas to tackle homelessness, and we’re calling on Government to take the necessary steps to move beyond the crisis.”

Meanwhile, Focus Ireland, director of advocacy, Mike Allen said: “Focus Ireland has welcomed the Government’s Housing For All strategy and is working with local authorities across the country to deliver its objectives.

“But as homelessness rises month on month, it must be clear to everyone that just keeping on doing what we are already doing will not be enough. Local authorities across the country are being driven into desperate attempts to open new homeless shelters when we know that emergency accommodation is not the answer, housing is the answer.”

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