Number of people homeless in Republic of Ireland rose in January
More than 9,000 adults and children were recorded as homeless in January, a figure one charity described as “deeply concerning”.
The Republic of Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis and the latest set of figures from the Department of Housing show that 9,150 men, women and children were in emergency accommodation in January.
That represents a rise of more than 200 people since December, with the number of children homeless rising to 2,563.
Focus Ireland, a leading homelessness charity, said it is deeply concerned by the data.
According to the charity, at least one family every day became homeless in the last six months.
Its chief executive Pat Dennigan said people are becoming trapped in homelessness due to the spiralling cost of rent.
“There are children in families who mostly lost their homes in the private rented sector as they could not keep up with rising rents and, in other cases, the landlord could be selling the property so the family can be evicted.
“Many low-income families are dependent on housing assistance payments (HAP), yet HAP has not increased in over five years.
“Tenants must pay a portion of the rent themselves on top of the HAP payment and what our services around the country have seen is that the families have to cut back on food, heating, and other bills to try to keep a roof over their heads.
“They quickly fall into arrears and debt and end up losing their home and becoming homeless. Once homeless it is proving near impossible for many families to regain a home in the private rented sector so too many become trapped in homelessness.”