Irish homelessness figures have risen again, reaching another record high 2 months ago

Irish homelessness figures have risen again, reaching another record high

The figures have been described as "devastating" and "shocking".

The number of people in homeless emergency accommodation in Ireland in August of this year was 10,805, a new record high for the State.

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This is an increase of 237 people on July's figures of 10,568, the previous record high for the country.

According to data released on the Government website on Friday (30 September), 7,585 adults accessed emergency accommodation between 22 - 28 August, as well as 3,220 children.

The majority of the people were located in Dublin, with the capital recording a figure of 7,732.

Following the release of the data, the Simon Communities of Ireland issued a statement in which it described the figure of 10,805 as "shocking" and urged the Government to take "meaningful action to get ahead of the homelessness crisis".

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The charity organisation called for 5,000 vacant properties to be brought into use through the Repair and Lease Scheme for people in homelessness and on the social housing waiting list.

"The trajectory of the homelessness crisis heading into the winter months is deeply concerning," Head of Policy and Communication at the Simon Communities of Ireland Wayne Stanley said.

"Solutions are needed now and the Simon Communities see three areas that will make a difference. Firstly, improved Homeless HAP rates. We know that Homeless Hap rates are under review, this needs to be published and enacted without delay.

"Secondly, it’s almost a year since the Simon Bill received cross party support and passed the second stage in Dáil Éireann. The Government have committed to enacting the provisions in this Bill, which would stop homelessness before it starts. The Bill needs to be enacted now.

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"Finally, vacancy must be made a priority for increasing our housing stock. At our Simon Week Conference earlier this week, we heard from homelessness and housing experts who supported our call for a renewed repair and lease scheme.

"We need to look at every opportunity and the Government need to take Covid-19 crisis type actions if we are to reduce the homelessness numbers.”

Main image via Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie