Dublin Simon Community Responds to Homeless Report for August
Dublin, 29 September 2023: The latest Homeless Report has been released by the Department of Housing showing that the number of people in emergency accommodation in Dublin in August was 9,269. This is made up of 6,305 adults, 2,964 children, which represents 1,370 families and 3,966 single adults.
These figures reflect an adjustment in relation to methodology that led to an issue in totals reported for July. However, compared year-on-year these numbers represent a 19.8% increase in homelessness in the capital for the same period in 2022.
Dublin Simon Community is concerned that this trend, in tandem with a shortage of affordable housing and financial pressures from the cost of living crisis, will lead to one of the worst winter periods ever for people in crisis.
CEO Catherine Kenny said: “We have reached the point where people can do everything they are told is the right thing to do and still find themselves without a home. This is an issue affecting people across all demographics and communities.”
She added: “Our emergency services are providing temporary accommodation to more and more people who are in full-time work and encountering increasing numbers of people sleeping in cars. There are numerous adults in our services who are ready to move on to independent living, but they simply can’t compete in the current rental market due to skyrocketing rental prices and lack of supply. In some cases, clients are unable to see their children regularly because they don’t have a suitable place to bring them. The impact of this on families is heartbreaking. The knock-on effect on mental and physical health for our clients and their loved ones is severe and far-reaching.”
As well as providing wraparound services to people experiencing homelessness, Dublin Simon Community is working to increase available accommodation options for people exiting homelessness through its activities as an approved housing body (AHB), with a range of accommodation projects currently under construction.
The charity is also calling for the Government to take urgent action to stem the numbers of people entering homelessness by:
· Utilising all capital funding available under the Department of Housing to increase housing supply.
· Investing in prevention measures to stop people from entering homelessness.
· Increasing the mental health budget to 10% of overall health budget.
· Increasing core social welfare rates by €25 to ensure adequate standards of living for those on low and fixed incomes.
· Increasing the €5m cap on VAT compensation for charities and addressing the current pay deficit for staff in Section 10 and Section 39 organisations, which is currently 10-12% lower than their counterparts in state agencies.