Dublin homeless housed mainly in private rentals last year

Few homeless families and individuals got permanent tenancies in council flats

Almost two-thirds of homeless individuals and families who moved into homes in Dublin last year were housed in private sector accommodation, according to new figures from Dublin City Council.

Figures for Dublin city and county, compiled by the city council, show that 2,482 homeless people secured tenancies last year, an increase of 35 per cent on the number in 2016.

However, despite the increase in those being housed, the numbers of both individuals and families living in emergency accommodation rose over the same period, indicating a significant increase in the numbers seeking homeless services over the past year.

At the end of November, there were 1,188 families and 2,059 single people living in hotels, hostels and other emergency facilities. In November 2016, there were 1,656 single adults and 1,023 families in emergency accommodation.


Of the 2,482 new tenants, 1,557 were families and 925 were single homeless people, even though almost twice as many homeless individuals as families are waiting to be housed in the Dublin region.

Families were also slightly more likely to get a council house, or be housed by the voluntary housing sector, than individual homeless people, with 38 per cent of homeless families housed in these permanent tenancies and 33 per cent of single people.

Hap scheme

Of the total housed, 1,524 became tenants of private landlords who were in receipt of rent using the Housing Assistant Payment (Hap), whereby local authorities pay rent on behalf of the tenant. A further 49 people were housed in private rented accommodation using other forms of payment, while just 909 were housed by local authorities or other social housing bodies.

Figures show that the use of the Hap payment for landlords housing homeless people increased by more than 60 per cent last year from 974 tenancies in 2016.

The council also “prevented” 1,194 households from becoming homeless, up to the end of November last year, by working with families and individuals who initially presented themselves to homeless services to remain in their current tenancies or family homes.

In terms of the city council’s own provision of social housing, a total of 455 homeless tenants secured houses or flats , 313 of whom were families and 172 individuals or couples. The largest number of these homes, 189, had been vacated by other council tenants.

Eileen Gleeson, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, said the 455 council homes, up from 275 in the previous year, represented a "record number of homeless households" housed in city council houses and flats, which was "largely due to the provisions of 130 rapid build [houses] across four sites in Dublin".

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times