All regions of State bar one see rise in child homelessness

Problem outside Dublin increasing at almost three times the rate in capital

Every region of the State, bar one, has seen an increase in child homelessness. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Every region of the State, bar one, has seen an increase in child homelessness. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

Child homelessness outside Dublin is increasing at almost three times the rate it is in the capital, the latest figures from the Department of Environment show.

The data show that while Dublin has seen its homeless children population increase by 44 per cent in the six months to June, the numbers have gone up by 130 per cent outside Dublin.

Every region of the State, bar one, has seen an increase in child homelessness.

The total number of children in emergency accommodation across the State in the week of June 22nd-28th was 1,318, in 620 families.

This compares with 865 children in 401 families in emergency accommodation in the week of 19th to 25th January and represents a 55 per cent increase in child homelessness the first six months of the year.

Emergency accommodation

The vast majority of these are in Dublin, with these most recent data showing there were 1,122 children in 531 families in the capital in emergency accommodation in June compared with 780 children in 359 families in January.

This represents a 44 per cent increase in the number of Dublin children in emergency accommodation in the period.

Outside Dublin, however, the increase is 130 per cent in six months, from 85 homeless children in January to 196 now.

The largest increase numerically has been in the mideast region, which takes in commuter counties around Dublin. Here the number of homeless children has increased from 12 from five families at the start of the year, to 42 in 19 families in June – a 250 per cent increase.

In the southwest the number of homeless children increased from 26 in 13 families to 55 in 18 families – an increase of 120 per cent.

In the southeast region, including Waterford, the numbers went up from two children in two families in January to 24 in 14 families in June - a 1,100 per cent rise.

In the midwest, the increase was from 20 children in 10 families to 32 in 18 families - a 60 per cent increase.

The west saw an increase from 14 children in six families to 24 in 10 families – a 71 per cent rise.

In the midlands, the rise was from 11 children in six families to 18 in nine families, or 63 per cent, while in the northeast, one child and his or her family became homeless since January.

Only the northwest has seen no child become homeless this year.

Single parents

Of the 196 homeless children outside Dublin in June, 138 were in families headed by single parents and 58 in families headed by couples.

In Dublin, 620 of of the 1,122 children were in single-parent families and 502 were in couple-headed families.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has spent €4.5 million to the end of June on hotel-type accommodation for homeless families. This compared with about €5.5 million for the whole of last year.

The total number of homeless adults with no child dependents in emergency accommodation across the State in June was 2,414 - 1,456 of them in Dublin and 958 outside.

The total number of homeless people was 3,358, according to the Department of Environment figures.