Dublin Simon Community is disappointed with the rise in Dublin emergency accommodation figures and cautions that the situation for single homeless people of all ages remains dire, despite new housing measures.
Dublin, 28th May 2021: As the Government releases the April 2021 Homeless Report, homeless charity Dublin Simon says that the property ladder is completely out of reach for those experiencing homelessness or in unstable tenancy arrangements.
The April 2021 Homeless Report, released today by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage revealed there were 5,806 people in Dublin emergency accommodation, an 11% decrease on April 2020. The April 2021 figures include 4,087 total adults, 699 families, 3,040 singles and 1,719 children.
New Housing Measures
Acknowledging the April 2021 Homeless Report, Chief Executive Sam McGuinness said that while he welcomes the introduction of new measures by Government to protect the property market from investment funds, the reality is that the knock-on benefits will not have a big impact on people experiencing homelessness in the short term.
Dublin Simon is hoping that measures such as a 10% stamp duty for bulk purchases will have a long term positive effect on the housing market that will create more equitable environment for the likes of Dublin Simon Community in its activities as an Approved Housing Body (AHB).
Stable Secure Homes
Through its work as an Approved Housing Body (AHB) the charity is currently providing a permanent home to almost 700 adults and children in 242 units. All of these were previously on the housing list and had experienced, or were facing, homelessness.
Mr McGuinness explained:
“Our procurement policies are designed to protect the marketplace, we will not purchase a property where the other potential buyers are first time buyers or other AHBs. This ‘no impact’ policy ensures that our activities have only a positive impact in that they provide a permanent home through tenancy for a person that would otherwise be homeless or in emergency accommodation. The downside is that these policies make it challenging to procure suitable properties in such a competitive housing market, and only a tiny percentage of the properties we consider will be suitable for purchase under these conditions.”
As well as buying suitable properties, Dublin Simon Community is also involved in the construction of a range of developments within the counties that it serves that will deliver up to 80 independent housing units between now and 2024. The eventual tenants of those units will receive a range of enhanced supports to assist them in the transition from homelessness to a permanent home of their own.
“These are people who will likely never own a home or have a hope of getting on the property ladder, but through our work in this space we can make sure that they have a secure permanent tenancy and support to assist them in retaining that for as long as they need it”, added Sam McGuinness.