Number of homeless people in Ireland reaches peak of 10,568

Homelessness currently affects 10,568 people in Ireland, the highest number since 2019.

Figures released by the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government show an increase of 54 people since October 2019.

The latest figures show that the number of people in shelters for the homeless has risen for the seventh straight month.

In response, Simon Communities of Ireland have called on the Government to take action in the 2023 Budget to address this issue.

As part of a series of actions outlined in their pre-budget submission, Simon Communities are calling for the return to service of 5,000 vacant properties through the repair and lease program for people in the homeless and on the public housing waitlist, as well as increased funding for homeless prevention and rehabilitation reformed HAP rates.

The 10,568 men, women and children in shelters for the homeless in July represents a 0.7 percent increase, equivalent to 76 people, in one month and a 30 percent increase, equivalent to 2,436 people, since that time last year.

The figures show that 1,423 people were recorded as families, an increase of 2.7 percent from the previous month. Meanwhile, 5,140 people were single adults, down 0.7 percent from the previous month, while 3,137 were recorded as children or dependents, a figure up 2.1 percent from the previous month.

The results also show that 1,239 young people were between the ages of 18 and 24, a decrease of seven from the previous month but a 31.4 percent year-on-year increase of 943 in July 2021.

There were also record numbers of adults, 7,431, and those aged 45 to 65, 2,041.

The head of policy and communications at Simon Communities of Ireland said the record number of people in shelters for the homeless was “even more worrying when we consider the scale of the current housing crisis”.

Wayne Stanley said: “The previous peak in homelessness numbers was in October 2019. There were 3,500 properties available for rent at the time, according to’s Rental Report, compared to just 716 available now, and those few properties are totally unaffordable.

“We are seeing landlords exit the private rental market and the cost of living crisis continues.

“In this context, the state must now take immediate measures to increase the supply of housing. It is deeply discouraging and worrying to see a record 10,568 people stuck in shelters for the homeless, while over 166,000 homes are vacant across the country.

“Our pre-budget proposal calls on the government to bring 5,000 vacant homes back into service through a renewed repair and lease program in 2023 to accommodate the homeless and those awaiting public housing.

“With the housing and inflation crises taking their toll, the government must act urgently to provide housing. The current measures taken by the state are not enough to turn the tide in relation to the scale of the crisis we are experiencing.

“A crisis like homelessness requires a crisis response. Action against vacancies is one of the few areas where the state can embark on this crisis response to address the challenge of homelessness.”

The national housing and homeless charity, the Peter McVerry Trust, has also expressed disappointment at today’s record number of homeless people, but said it was determined to work on solutions needed to bring the number back down.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said: “Figures released today by the Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage show 10,568 people were homeless in July 2022. Solutions are needed to reverse the trend.”

“We all remember that we already had record highs in 2019, but we managed to reduce the number by 20% back then. We must now repeat this and go even further, redoubling our efforts and introducing measures that make it possible to reduce the numbers.”

“Peter McVerry Trust believes there are three key actions that need to be put in place as early as possible to address the problem.”

“As part of the cold weather strategy for this winter, we must take the step of reinstating the moratorium on evictions. There is a longstanding French model of banning evictions in autumn and winter and this needs to be considered here as it can help stem the flow of people into homelessness. It will also allow the thousands of social housing projects under construction to bear fruit and some of this can be used to help people emerge from homelessness.”

“We also need to see the immediate reinstatement of the national long-term lease program until the homeless number falls below 8,000. Long term leasing is safer and cheaper than HAP and obviously much cheaper and better than paying for emergency housing.

“A targeted rental program for singles and larger families with a focus on the subsequent use of vacant residential and commercial properties can be introduced immediately and thus not only provide new offers, but also renew urban centers.”

“Finally, as local governments make allocations to new public housing, they need to increase the percentage of homeless allocations to those programs. There are too many systems where the level of homeless referrals is low and if we increase it we can reduce numbers in emergency situations.” Number of homeless people in Ireland reaches peak of 10,568

Fry Electronics Team

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