A record 13,179 people were registered as homeless in October.
The figures include 3,991 children living in emergency accommodation and the problem is most acute in Dublin, where 9,713 people are homeless.
In September, there were 12,827 people in emergency accommodation, including 3,904 children.
Despite this, the true figure is likely to be higher still as the Department of Housing does not include rough sleepers, women in refuge centres, asylum seekers, refugees or the so-called ‘hidden homeless’ who are staying with friends because they cannot find a place to live.
'The trauma of homelessness'
The Simon Communities of Ireland described the figures as “shocking” and said it was particularly upsetting to think so many children would be homeless this Christmas.
“When family homelessness was declared a crisis in 2014, it was less than 1,000 children,” Executive Director Wayne Stanley said.
“If the trauma of homelessness inflicted on children is not enough to ensure action to address the crisis, what will be the catalyst for change?
“The Simon Communities of Ireland has been calling for a referendum to enshrine a right to a home in the Irish Constitution. We have to ask, if that was in place, would we have such alarming levels of homelessness today?”
Despite this, Mr Stanely said there are also signs Government policies have helped some families.
“The tenant in-situ scheme, where a local authority can purchase a home if the landlord is selling up, appears to be delivering for hundreds of families,” Mr Stanley said.
“While homelessness continues to rise in the West of Ireland, the rate of increase has slowed as local authorities, in collaboration with Galway Simon, put in place preventative services with positive results.”
In October 2022, there were 11,397 people registered as homeless in the State - itself a record at the time.
Today’s figures mean homelessness has risen by 15.6% in the space of a year.
Main image: Homeless people in Dublin. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie