One in 9 people fear homelessness

The report also shows one third of people are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage every month

Homeless, Dublin City Council, safe homes, Uplift, Daithi Doolan,

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

A new survey has revealed that one in every nine people are worried they will lose their home.

The report from homeless charity Focus Ireland also shows the growing pressure households are under to keep a roof over their heads as it shows that one third of people struggle to pay their rent or mortgage every month.

The charity said the new survey findings should be a wake-up call for the Government, as it shows the public wants more direct action to tackle the national housing crisis.

Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: "This survey confirms our view that we are dealing with a national crisis in housing and that this is not just a problem that effects only people on the margins of our society but one that is threatening the security of families and individuals homes right across our society."

Rents

The survey also showed that there is overwhelming support for more government action to tackle the crisis with 82% of people supporting stronger government regulation to control spiralling rents.

These findings come on the back of this week’s latest Daft.ie report which shows the largest annual increase in rents ever recorded (13.5%) since the first Daft.ie report in 2002. 

Mr Allen said: "Up until now we have seen Governments try to deal with this crisis with a series of incentives, supports and encouragements.  They took years to respond to wave upon wave of massive rent increases which were making many thousands of people more insecure in their homes every month."

He added: “The same Government policy approach is still being taken of leading with incentives and hoping they will work rather than taking the direct – and tough - policy decisions required to effectively tackle the national housing and homeless crisis."

According to Mr Allen, the charity's frontline staff are currently dealing with cases where some landlords are ignoring the new rent cap and raising the rent while telling tenants. Focus Ireland said there needs to be effective penalties put in place to punish any landlords that are caught breaking the rent cap in a rent pressure zone.

Children in homelessness

Meanwhile, a new report today from children's charity Barnardos aims to shine a spotlight on the 2,500 children that are currently homeless in Ireland.

The charity wants people to hear the real stories behind the figures, to highlight the impact that homelessness has on children.

"There are real people living very surreal lives, living day-to-day in hotels and emergency accommodations", Head of Advocacy June Tinsley. "A child's life is their entire world - if it's the space between two beds in a hotel room, and that is no place for a child to thrive."

The most recent figures show a record total of more than 7,148 people homeless in Ireland. Nationally there are now 4,643 adults and 2,505 children homeless meaning 1 in 3 people homeless in Ireland is a child.

The total number of people homeless rose by 36% from December 2015 to December 2016.

The survey was carried out by nfpSynergy in November 2016 on behalf of Focus Ireland. It involved a nationally representative sample of 1,000 (online) adults aged 16+ in Ireland.