The Homeless Report for January 2023 has been released today by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Dublin Simon CEO, Catherine Kenny responds with the following statement.
January 2023 Homeless Figures Statement
We are deeply worried by the increase in the number of homeless people staying in emergency accommodation in Dublin. This first set of figures released for 2023 is very troubling. With rising rents, an exodus of landlords leaving the market, fewer properties available for purchase, ending of the eviction ban and the shortage of rental and HAP properties, we are experiencing a confluence of crises in this country. It is difficult to contemplate; should the floodgates open, homeless services will be stretched to capacity and beyond looking to assist everyone who needs our help.
There are now 8,523 people staying in emergency accommodation in Dublin. 5,946 people are adults, and 3,943 people are single adults. There are 1165 families, including 25,77 children. This marks an exponential increase in the number of homeless people staying in emergency accommodation, with a rise of 31% seen in the last 12 months. (There were 6,508 people staying in emergency accommodation in Dublin in January of 2022. 4,580 were adults, and 3,194 were single adults. There were 821 families in emergency accommodation, including 1,928 children).
Behind the statistics are real people. Through no fault of their own, they are unable to afford to rent, and unable to afford to buy a home. They cannot move forward with their lives and the lives of their families. Single people are significantly impacted, with a limited amount of suitable 1 and 2 bed properties for them to rent or purchase. Ireland is an economic success story, yet there are far too many people who do not have homes of their own. It is little wonder that so many feel powerless and disenfranchised.
In recent years, we have rallied as a nation and risen to significant challenges. Today, we have a housing and homelessness emergency. It must be dealt with. The numbers of people experiencing homelessness must fall in 2023.
We are asking decision-makers for a renewed focus and sense of purpose on all matters relating to housing and homelessness. We are asking for a proactive response to those facing eviction to address their housing needs and that all available budget is spent in order to resolve this crisis. We must have more social & affordable housing. We must have housing solutions for vacant properties. We must see protections for renters.
We need more homes and we need them now.
- Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon Community