Dublin Simon Hails March 2021 Homeless Report as “Calm Before the Storm”
- Latest report is the last before impact of eviction moratorium removal is fully realised
- Charity concerned demand for homelessness prevention services could return to March 2020 peak of 1,500 calls per week
Dublin, 30 April 2021: Dublin Simon Community has responded to the latest Homeless Report with concerns that the removal of the eviction ban will significantly impact the progress made in reducing numbers in emergency accommodation over the last 12 months. The charity is urging prioritisaton of supports for tenants in crisis to prevent a runaway train of numbers entering homelessness.
The March 2021 Homeless Report, released today by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage revealed there were 5,762 people in Dublin emergency accommodation, an 18% decrease on March 2020. The March 2021 figures include 4,093 total adults, 681 families, 3,073 singles and 1,669 children.
The charity’s Tenant Information & Support Service (TISS) provides advice and advocacy to people at risk of losing their homes in Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Cavan & Monaghan. The service is concerned the removal of the eviction moratorium will undo the progress of the past year and lead to a surge in demand for homeless prevention services, which peaked at 1,500 calls in one week during March 2020.
Adrian O’Reilly, Project Worker with Dublin Simon Community’s Tenant Information & Support Service (TISS) said there is a widespread sense that the last few months have been “the calm before the storm” and that tenants are worried:
“People are very conscious that with the lifting of the eviction ban we will soon have a crisis situation on our hands, which is causing real anxiety among our clients. We are seeing tenants in arrears, some of whom have already been given notice to quit, and on the other side of the coin there are landlords in financial difficulty themselves who are facing repossession from the banks. Although some protections have been put in place and extended to July 12th, these do not cover all those at risk of homelessness, particularly those who were already in crisis before Covid-19.
“For a lot of people, the ability to meet the cost of housing has been turned on its head by recent circumstances. They have been grappling with job losses, school closures and the suspension of many support services they relied on like breakfast clubs, day services and community supports. We are seeing older people contacting us for the first time, for whom the prolonged isolation is having a serious impact on their ability to manage.
“Throughout lockdown, the concept of ‘home’ has taken on a greater meaning. It’s become our office, our school, our gym, where we socialise virtually and above all else, it’s been where we can keep ourselves and our families safe from Covid-19. In this climate, the prospect of losing this refuge is tantamount to losing everything. At the Tenant Information and Support Service we are doing our best to advocate for and protect our clients, but in all honesty we are concerned about what’s ahead.”
If you or someone you know is at risk of homelessness or worried about your rights as a tenant, please contact the Dublin Simon Tenant Information & Support Service (TISS) on 01 6354888.
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