Homeless figures reach new record of almost 12,000

11,988 people were recorded accessing emergency accommodation in March - an increase of 246 on the previous month
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.45 28 Apr 2023

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Homeless figures reach new rec...

Homeless figures reach new record of almost 12,000

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.45 28 Apr 2023

Share this article

Ireland's official homeless figures have hit another new record high with nearly 12,000 people accessing emergency accommodation last month.

The Department of Housing said 11,988 people were recorded accessing emergency accommodation in March - an increase of 246 on the previous month.

The increase in homelessness took place while the Winter Eviction Ban was still in effect.


The ban is ending on a phased basis to June 18th.

There were 5,823 single adults and 1,639 families accessing emergency accommodation in the month - including 3,472 children under the age of 18.

Meanwhile the first quarter of the year saw a 15% increase in the number of adults, and their dependents, who exited or were prevented from entering emergency accommodation.

Some 871 rough sleepers or long-term users of emergency accommodation were also housed.

'Very challenging'

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien said supply is increasing.

"Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in the numbers of people in emergency accommodation despite the Winter Eviction Moratorium still being in effect in March," he said.

"The situation is very challenging but the Government, local authorities and those in our NGO sectors are working together and making every effort to reduce homelessness. Tackling this issue is a Government priority.

"We know that increasing the supply of new homes, particularly social and affordable homes, is key to tackling homelessness.

"Supply is increasing and we are going in the right direction, as seen from record Completion and Commencement Notices figures for the first quarter of 2023".

'They are terrified'

Focus Ireland is calling for a 'twin-track approach' to deal with the increase.

The charity stressed that, as these are the March figures, they do not yet reflect the impact of the lifting of the eviction ban on April 1st.

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: "We are getting calls and emails every day from people who are facing no fault eviction and homelessness.

"They are terrified and I really do not think the Government has spoken to people in this situation as if they had, they would not have lifted the ban.

"Homelessness is not acceptable or normal. It is a result of a decade of poor policies.

"However, by quickly implementing improved measures and working in partnership to deliver solutions we can put an end to it over time," he added.

'Judged on results'

Wayne Stanley, Executive Director of the Simon Communities of Ireland, said the figures are "deeply upsetting."

"The Government have clearly made the decision that they are not returning to an eviction ban," he said.

"That decision means they have, now more than ever, a duty to ensure there are the required safety nets and solutions in place.

"We know there is potential in the Tenant In-Situ scheme as a prevention measure and a commitment to see it ramped up.

"In addition to that, we need to see more homes secured and allocated to those experiencing the trauma of homelessness".

Mr Stanley said while some of this work is taking place, "Government action on homelessness has to be judged on results and these figures are evidence that not enough is being done."

Main image: A homeless person on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin city. Image: Michael Rooney / Alamy

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Darragh O'Brien Department Of Housing Emergency Accommodation Focus Ireland Pat Dennigan Rough Sleepers Simon Communities Wayne Stanley Winter Eviction Ban

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