Homeless crisis: Nearly 9,000 destitute in November

Housing department figures reveal 4% increase on those without home in October

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said “more rough sleepers are now engaged with our services”.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said “more rough sleepers are now engaged with our services”.

 

The number of homeless people increased again in November, according to the latest report from the Department of Housing.

More than 8,800 people were homeless in November; 5,524 adults, and 3,333 children were accessing emergency accommodation services last month.

The report also says that 1,530 families were accessing emergency accommodation.

The figures show an increase of about 4 per cent on the numbers of homeless people in October.

An additional 365 people accessed emergency accommodation in November, compared with October.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the increase last month is “disappointing.”

“But, for individuals, it does mean that more rough sleepers are now engaged with our services. We were anticipating an increase in the number of homeless adults recorded in November because we have been bringing new bed-spaces on line as part of both our cold weather initiative and the opening of new facilities as promised,” said Mr Murphy.

The 2016 annual report of the Simon Communities of Ireland found the number of people seeking help grew by one-third in 2016 and is set to worsen this year.

The charity said it worked with more than 11,000 people, including 1,417 families with 2,860 children, who were experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness during 2016.

Mr Murphy said the department are preparing for an increase in the numbers of people sleeping rough and additional resources will be made available.

He said in 2016 housing authorities assisted over 3,000 adults to leave homeless services. .

He said he expects 4,000 exits will be achieved nationally this year.

Mr Murphy said more new homes will be brought into the social housing stock on a weekly basis and they will redouble their efforts on prevention.

“Families and children in emergency accommodation are our first concern” he said.

Focus Ireland said the new record total of 8,857 people homeless in Ireland show the Government strategy is failing to tackle the deepening crisis.

It’s Director of Advocacy Mike Alen said: “These latest dreadful figures clearly show that the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland strategy is failing to get to grips with the escalating crisis. We are in the middle of the worst crisis in living memory as nearly 9,000 people are homeless nationwide - more than one in every three of these people is a child. This must act as a line in the sand for the Government.”