Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
Focus Ireland helped a record number of 14,500 people face the risk of homelessness last year.
According to their data, that is an increase of 7% in 2016.
The charity has issued an annual report saying that the number of homeless families has increased.
Focus Ireland says it also supports more than 1,000 homeless families entering safe homes.
The new Focus Ireland report said that the landlord’s expulsion of tenants to sell their homes remains the main reason why families are homeless.
According to the year-end review of family homeless in 2017, by the end of the year, the number of homeless people had increased by 1,439 (20%) from the beginning of the year.
The number of homeless families has increased by 203 (17%) to 1,408. In the second half of the year, the growth rate slowed significantly and began to reverse slightly in the fourth quarter.
The Focus Ireland said that the number of families outside Dublin becoming homeless increased by 62%, which is a “grave concern”, although it noted that part of the reason for this growth may be changed in how the Department of Housing compiles the figures.
The report raises factors that have made homeless families in Dublin in 2015 and 2016, such as rising rents and rising evictions, which are now being experienced in other parts of the country.
“To the extent that this is the case, the official figures reflect an emerging reality, in which case we would expect to see a continued escalation of homelessness in an increasing number of towns and cities.”
Measures successfully implemented in Dublin, such as the Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP), need to be promoted nationwide, it said.
Under current law, if tenants intend to sell their property, they can evict the tenant in a short period of time. According to reports, this is the primary driver of family homelessness.
“The number of families becoming newly homeless is continuing to rise and continues to be driven by landlords evicting tenants to sell their property. Without structural changes to reduce this inflow into homelessness, it will be hard to make further progress in reducing total homelessness.”