People Accepting Unaffordable Tenancies Out of Frustration with Lack of Supply

Dublin Simon Community disappointed with the rise in numbers in Dublin emergency accommodation and urges a swift implementation of a cost & supply focused ‘Housing for All’ strategy to prevent people falling back in to homelessness.

Dublin, 27th August 2021: Dublin Simon Community says it is disappointed with the rise in Dublin emergency accommodation figures for July 2021 over the previous month with 124 more people in emergency accommodation than in June.

The July 2021 Homeless Report, released today by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, revealed there were 5,877 people in Dublin emergency accommodation, a 5% decrease on July 2020 but 2% higher than the previous month. The July 2021 figures include 4,220 total adults, 700 families, 3,033 singles and 1,657 children.

The report comes as would-be renters and homeowners across the country eagerly anticipate the publication of the Department’s ‘Housing for All’ action plan, due to be released at the end of August. In submissions to government, Dublin Simon Community has urged that the plan prioritise supply and affordability.

As the pool of affordable and available rental properties continues to shrink across the country, the charity’s resettlement service, Support to Live Independently (SLI), has reported an increase in clients accepting tenancies which they cannot afford, placing them at risk of eviction and return to homelessness.

Senior Manager for Community Services Caroline Murray said an increase in social and affordable housing is “urgently needed” to address this issue:

“A lot of the families, couples and singles we work with have been living in emergency accommodation for over a year due to the lack of social and affordable housing available to them. When accommodation options do appear, many are so desperate to leave emergency accommodation that they accept tenancies outside of their price range and quickly find themselves in arrears, placing them at risk of homelessness once again. 

“The crux of the issue is the lack of properties available within the Homeless Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) limits, as outlined by the Simon Community Locked Out Reports. This leads to clients “topping up” their Homeless HAP with their own income, leaving many with only €100-€200 per week to pay bills, manage their household and feed their families. 

Murray added:

“On the Dublin Simon SLI team, we are consistently advocating for our clients and seeking solutions to prevent them from falling back into the vicious cycle of homelessness. While the team is liaising with landlords and agencies, delivering budgeting support and linking people in with community support services, this core issue can only be solved by the swift implementation of a cost and supply focused Housing for All strategy.” 

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