Words: Ellen Kenny
There are now 10,325 homeless people in Ireland, the highest it has been since February 2020.
Figures released by the Department of Housing on Friday show there were 10,325 people, including 3,028 children, homeless in May. That is an increase of 276 since April.
In Dublin, the number of homeless single adults increased from 4,991 to 5,173. The number of homeless families increased by 58 to 1,336. The number of families in homeless accommodation in Dublin grew to 956.
The Dublin Simon Community said it was “gravely concerned by the cataclysm caused by the rising number of people entering homelessness each month”.
Outreach manager Ciarán King noted the “huge growth” in “vulnerable” women reporting to be homeless: “One of our primary concerns is ensuring the safety of women who we are encountering on the streets.”
“It is essential that we have access to safe and secure emergency accommodation for this group and adequate emergency places for all those who require it.”
Eviction bans during the pandemic and more rental accommodation in the private sector slowed the rate of homelessness for a short period. Homeless figures were at the lowest in the last five years in May 2021, when they fell to 7,991.
Former chief of Focus Ireland Pat Dennigan said these alarming figures will “undoubtably” rise further “if urgent action is not taken by the Government”.
“In addition to rocketing rents, vulnerable people nationwide are struggling to pay their petrol energy bills and many families can barely put food on their table.”
Dennigan suggested that an increased supply of affordable housing would solve this growing crisis. Meanwhile, Daft.ie just reported a ten per cent increase in house prices compared to last year.
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