Spectre of homelessness stalking older renters as housing costs continue upward trajectory

As numbers in emergency accommodation rise Dublin Simon Community warns that its homelessness prevention teams are busier than ever supporting struggling private and HAP renters

People renting within the private and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) sector are living in fear of receiving notice to quit from their landlords as soaring rents and limited stock means that many long-term tenants could be seeking new tenancies in a market they can’t afford and older renters emerging as a growing group falling victim to soaring rents and uncertain tenancies.

With the latest Residential Tenancies Board statistics showing the monthly rent in Dublin city is now at more than €1,700 for a two-bed property, Dublin Simon’s Tenancy Information & Support Service (TISS) is experiencing a surge in requests for help from people who fear they will join the 6,093 number of people in emergency accommodation in Dublin.

Orla Dwyer from Dublin Simon’s TISS teams said:
“We are currently dealing with a very high volume of referrals and are sadly seeing an increase in the number of older tenants at risk of homelessness, including people in their 70s & 80s. This is naturally a hugely distressing situation for any person but even more so for people in their latter years when they should have security and peace but are facing the unimaginable situation of finding themselves homeless. There are currently very few options open to people within the private and HAP rental sector. Our teams liaise closely with the DRHE, DCC and other agencies to support these clients and try to ensure that they access secure accommodation.”

The latest Homeless Report, the number of people in emergency accommodation in Dublin in September 2021 show a drop of 3% over the previous year and are increasing month on month. According to the report released by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, 4,287 total adults, 752 families, 3,019 singles and 1,806 children were in emergency accommodation in September 2021.