Homelessness in Ireland has risen by more than 30% in the past year, figures show.
There were 10,492 adults and children in homeless emergency shelters at the end of June, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Housing.
2,478 more people were recorded homeless in June compared to the same period last year when 8,014 people were homeless.
This represents an increase of approximately 31%. The total figure of 10,492 is just shy of the highest number of homeless people (10,514) recorded by the department in October 2019.
A total of 7,421 homeless adults and 3,071 homeless children were recorded in the country last month.
In comparison, in June last year, 5,847 adults and 2,167 children were homeless.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “The continued rise in the number of people accessing emergency accommodation is a serious concern.
“Government, local authorities and our NGO sectors are doing everything they can to reduce homelessness. The key is to build new social housing and increase overall provision.
Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan called the figures “a shocking indictment of the government’s failed housing policy”.
The party’s housing spokesman said: “Homelessness is at an all-time high. It’s a disaster for anyone living in emergency accommodation who doesn’t have a place to call home.
“Homelessness has risen by more than 31 per cent in the past year – while child homelessness has risen by 41 per cent over the same period. These figures are a shocking indictment of the Government’s failed housing policy. .
“These figures do not include those who are sleeping on our streets, in tents and on sofas.
“There is a complete lack of immediate action by the government on housing.”
Homeless organization Simon Communities called on the government to take action to move homeless people “beyond the crisis”.
The charity has urged the government to bring 5,000 empty properties back into use through a repair and lease scheme, for people who are homeless and on social housing waiting lists.
It also wants increased funding for homelessness prevention and reform of HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) rates.
Wayne Stanley, head of policy and communications at Simon Communities, said: “We are calling on the Government to take the necessary steps to overcome the crisis.
“Our first priority is for the government to seize the opportunity that our high vacancy rate provides us, to provide relief to some of the men, women and children struggling to become homeless, or to thousands more. Help with hidden homelessness.
“These actions will also build more capacity in local authorities and create some breathing space in the social housing system while the Government’s Housing for All strategy promises direct-build homes.”
Caoimhe O’Connell, spokeswoman for Dublin Simon Community, said: “It’s disappointing to see the number of people living in emergency accommodation in Dublin continue to climb for another month.
“We have now broken a record we never wanted to reach, the increase recorded in the June 2022 Homelessness Report comes at a time when homeless services are at capacity, while housing applications Very late.
Ms O’Connell also said housing applications were currently taking an average of five months to be processed.
“It’s only a five-month wait to get on the waiting list, after which, depending on your situation, it can take years to build a home,” she said.
“The recommended stay in emergency accommodation is six months.”
He added: “We are getting to the point where homelessness is becoming a life sentence.
“Urgent intervention is needed to reduce the long-term impact on the lives of those currently in the system and those who are barely clinging to their homes as the housing cost and housing crisis squeezes them. ” – PA