Sinn Féin - On Your Side

At least 27% of those experiencing homelessness not counted in government figures - Eoin Ó Broin TD

1 February, 2022 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has today published a document which indicates that the true level of those experiencing homelessness is at least 27% greater than what official government figures show.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The document I am publishing today details the additional number of adults and children in emergency accommodation who are not included in the Department of Housing’s monthly homelessness reports.

“The reality is that, based on the information provided by government departments and service providers, Sinn Féin estimate that the real number of people accessing homeless services is closer to 11,352. That is 27% more people are accessing homeless services than the government is current­ly counting.

“The Department of Housing’s most recent monthly report indicates in December 2021 that there were 6,463 adults, 2,451 children and 1,077 families living in emergency accommodation.

“However, there are adults and children in emergency accommodation funded by other government agencies; including Tusla and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).

“According to the latest figures available from DCEDIY, there were 1,640 adults and children who have been granted status, trapped in direct provision centres as of December 2021. This is an increase of 60% in just one year and an increase of 165% in three years. For these families, Direct Provision has become a form of emergency accommodation while they search for alternative accommodation.

“In terms of women and children living in domestic violence accommodation, we unfortunately do not have figures for the past three years on the number of bed spaces provided. However, information from Tusla in 2018 indicates that, on any given night, there are 599 beds available in the system and these are usually at capacity.

“The 100+ people staying in emergency accommodation providers, such as Morning Star and Regina Coeli, that are not funded by the State, are also not counted.

“This is not about statistics or numbers. It is about human beings; the women, men and children living in emergency accommodation. For the government to be able to adequately plan and deliver homes, they need to know what the real level of housing need is.

“The real problem is that not enough social homes are being built. Not enough were delivered last year, partly due to Covid-19, but mostly due to government bureaucracy. The social housing targets must be revised upwards and so too must the Housing First targets. 250 new tenancies a year is not sufficient.

“I would urge the government to take this report at face value, to read the recommendations and to be reporting all the figures at least on a quarterly basis.”

Eoin Ó Broin's document 'What is the true level of homelessness?' can be downloaded here (PDF).

Connect with Sinn Féin