Dublin Simon Community Responds to February 2023 Homeless Report

Dublin Simon CEO Catherine Kenny responds to the February Homeless Report released on Friday the 31st of March.

Talk of housing targets is meaningless to those individuals with no forwarding address. There is nowhere for them to go, and they need homes now.

It is due to successive systemic failures in the delivery of housing that thousands of people and families are filled with anxiety today. Homelessness should never be the accepted outcome of eviction. The next step after eviction should be into another property of similar size, standard and cost.

Our advice to tenants who are facing eviction is to pause and remember you have options to explore. Try not to panic and to reach out to homelessness prevention services without delay. Dublin Simon Community works with households at risk, providing tenancy sustainment and settlement services, housing advice and information. You have rights, and there are knowledgeable people who can help you to understand what they are and support you.

8,588 people found themselves in emergency accommodation in Dublin in February, and that number is set to swell rapidly from today. We are at a tipping point in our national history. How we approach the months ahead will determine our cultural attitudes and commitment to solving and addressing homelessness.

We must have a housing market that functions equitably and adequately, and for that to happen, we need the stability of three pillars: social housing, affordable private rented homes, and affordable owner-occupied homes.

Our plea to Government is to fast-track long-term housing solutions and exits from homelessness. There are international models for eradicating homelessness that can be replicated and deployed. We can mobilise units frozen in planning, develop vacant dwellings, prioritise homeless and vulnerable groups for social housing, and service available lands in counties outside of Dublin.

Ireland’s housing crisis will become unsolvable without extraordinary, once-in-a-generation intervention.

Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon Community