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Image / Editorial

Almost 200 children became newly-homeless in the last month


By Jennifer McShane
25th Oct 2018
Almost 200 children became newly-homeless in the last month

New figures have revealed that the number of homeless people in Ireland rose by 171 last month compared with August.

The Department of Housing’s September Homelessness report says that 5,869 adults and 3,829 children are classed as homeless.

Almost 200 children without a home

The report says that almost 200 children – 193 children, to be exact – became newly homeless last month and that there are now 207 families without a home. Eighty-eight families entered emergency accommodation and 45 left it last month.

Related: I’ll probably die on these streets’ Why homelessness isn’t just a housing problem

In total 9,698 people are in emergency accommodation in hotels, family hubs and B&Bs; a startling and shocking reminder of the homeless crisis that this county is currently experiencing.

Focus Ireland also released the figures as the Department of Housing published the national homelessness figures; the latest of which represents a 15 per cent increase in the overall numbers since September 2017 – when there were 8,374, and a 22 per cent increase in the number of children.

New Focus Ireland figures for Dublin also issued show that three families became homeless every single day last month in the capital.

The charity said the Government had “failed to take a number of vital decisions required to ease the crisis.”

“Much more can – and must be – done if we are to end this terrible human crisis and protect the childhoods of nearly 4,000 children currently homeless.”

As noted above, 88 families with 193 children became newly homeless in Dublin in September.

“More effort is needed”

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that we are “still very much in the midst of a crisis in homelessness in this country, despite the increasing numbers of new social houses being built and house building more generally.

“Until we have caught up with supply, we will continue to face a serious challenge,” he said.

“More effort is needed and more emergency responses are needed, and the provision of extra money in the budget, for this year and next year, is demonstration of the government’s determination when it comes to our homelessness crisis.”

Unacceptable and wrong

Focus Ireland said that it believes that the new figures show there will be no end to the crisis without a shift in policy by the government.

“There is some positive news as we are managing to ensure that the number of people living in emergency accommodation is not rising as fast as it was last year. However, it is totally unacceptable and wrong that at the same time three families became homeless every single day in September in Dublin alone. This again shows that there will be no solution to the homeless crisis until the Government takes serious measures to prevent families losing their homes,” Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan continued.

“Focus Ireland has repeatedly highlighted through our services and research that the main reason families are becoming homeless is that they are being evicted from their homes by private landlords due to properties being sold or repossessed.”

“It can take several meaningful steps to make people more secure in their homes. Much more can – and must be – done if we are to end this terrible human crisis and protect the childhoods of nearly 4,000 children currently homeless.”