Dive into the features you want to see

Abortion alcohol alcohol free america Art artist spotlight awards beer Belfast best best looking Best New Music beyond the pale booze Brexit British Cannabis cbd Cheese chocolate Christmas climate change closure Coffee collaboration College Green Comedy cooking counter culture counterculture Cover Story Covid Culture DC Films Derelict Ireland Direct Provision Drink drug Drugs Dublin Dublin City Council Dublin International Film Festival easter Entertainment Environment equality Fashion feature feminism Festival Film First Listen Food gaeilge Gaming General News gift gifts Gigs Graphic Design guinness harm reduction Harry Styles healthcare Heaters Heatwave heist Hennessy Homelessness Housing HSE ice cream Identity instagram Interview introduction to ireland Irish Irish coffee Irish News irishmade justice Justice League Kanye West launch Leonardo DiCaprio LGBTQ+ List Lists Literature Living Hell Lockdown Index Made by District Made in Ireland magdalene laundries meme Mental Health menu merch metoo Michelin mural Music narolane new menu New Music News nightclub nom non-binary nphet One of everything Opener Openers opening openings Opinion Pairing pancakes Photography Pints Podcasts Politics pop up pop ups potatoes Premiere presents Pride queer Ray Fisher reservations Restaurants restrictions rugby Science Shebeen Shite Talk shitetalk signature dish Skateboarding small batch Social Media soup Space Subset sustainability tacos Taxis Technology Television The Big Grill theatre Thumbstopper tiktok To Be Irish Top 10 Tracks Top Ten Tracks Traffic Trans rights Transport Travellers trends TV Ukraine Ultimate Food Guide vegan Visual Art vodka Weed where to eat whiskey wine Women's rights Workman's youtube
General News / September 19, 2022

Focus Ireland report recommends a new definition of homelessness

Image: Unsplash
General News / September 19, 2022

Focus Ireland report recommends a new definition of homelessness

Words: Ellen Kenny

A new report from Focus Ireland suggests that a broader definition of homelessness will help officials tackle the problem.

Focus Ireland has recommended that the Government adopt a “broader definition of homelessness” in order to fully grasp the scope of the problem and create effective policies against it.

According to the report, From Rebuilding Ireland to Housing for All, the current metrics for homeless in Ireland are based on the number of people sleeping rough and use of emergency accommodation.

“Hidden homelessness was not widely seen as an issue by the Government,” the report explained, the concern being that “if someone were not in emergency accommodation, or living rough, then they were not defined or counted as being homeless.”

According to the report, only counting those sleeping rough or those in emergency accommodation as homeless has worrying implications. This definition significantly undercounts women’s homelessness, including lone parents who have dependent children with them, according to the report, because women may be more likely to respond to homelessness by relying on friends, relatives and acquaintances rather than formal services.

It also discounts people that are “effectively homeless” due to lacking security of tenure, physical control over their living space. This definition also excludes data on the number of people at risk of homelessness.

“The many exclusions from the current definition of homelessness in Ireland may impact negatively on monitoring, assessment and planning mechanisms in place.”

Focus Ireland recommended a broader definition of homelessness that clearly includes people living in non-conventional dwellings due to lack of housing such as temporary structures and mobile homes and people staying with friends and family due to lack of housing. According to Focus, this could lead to stronger emphasis on interagency working, social housing supply and preventative services.

Government response

Minister for Housing and Heritage Darragh O’Brien attended the launch of the report, promising that the State will build more social homes this year than any other year in history.

O’Brien said the government’s target is to build 300,000 new houses from now until 2030, 90,000 of which would be social housing.

The department’s latest statistics show there are 7,431 adults and 3,137 children registered as homeless.

O’Brien also added that, “right now, we do need good landlords in the market too.” When O’Brien can figure out the definition of a “good landlord” that isn’t simply “not a landlord at all”, I hope he lets us know.

Elsewhere on District: Cost of Living Coalition announce protest on September 24