Number of homeless drops for the first time in seven months

The December 2021 figures show the first decrease in the monthly national homeless figures since last May.

Cate McCurry
Friday 28 January 2022 16:33
The December 2021 figures, released by the Department of Housing, show that 8,914 people were homeless (PA)
The December 2021 figures, released by the Department of Housing, show that 8,914 people were homeless (PA)

The number of homeless people has dropped in the last month for the first time since last May.

The December 2021 figures, released by the Department of Housing, show that 8,914 people were homeless.

This is a decrease of 185 people on the November 2021 figures.

This is the first decrease in the monthly national homeless figures since last May.

There were 1,077 families in emergency accommodation in December, a decrease of 31 on the 1,108 recorded in November 2021.

The largest number of families recorded to date was 1,778 in July 2018.

The figure for December 2021 is 701 lower than this.

A total of 2,451 children under 18 associated with these families were in emergency accommodation in December last year.

This is a decrease of 97 on the 2,548 recorded in November 2021.

Since its highest level in October 2019, the number of individuals in emergency accommodation has decreased by 1,600, from 10,514 to 8,914 currently.

Ireland in December" data-source="Department of Housing">

Of the homeless adults recorded in December, 4,722 were single adults.

This is a decrease of 41 on the 4,763 single adults recorded last month.

The quarterly progress report shows that during the last four months of last year, a total of 1,191 adults and their dependants left homelessness into tenancies or were prevented from entering emergency accommodation.

Over last year, a total of 5,234 people left homelessness.

This represents an 11% decrease on the 5,886 people in 2020.

Pat Greene, head of policy and volunteering at Dublin Simon Community, said: “The early days of the Covid-19 pandemic brought homelessness to the fore and created the urgency required to address the homeless and housing crisis.

“Between April 2020 and May 2021, this determination and collaboration led to a 12% reduction in the number of people in Dublin emergency accommodation.

“Over the last six months, momentum has waned as numbers have crept swiftly upwards to pre-pandemic levels.

“As restrictions lift and the wider world returns to some level of normality, we are frustrated to see the headway made and lessons learned over the last two years fading from view.”

Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, said it welcomes a “slight decrease” in the number of people recorded in the official homeless figures.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said: “Any decrease of the number of people in homelessness is to be welcomed.

“December is typically one of the busiest months for the homeless sector so it’s positive to see even a small drop, it moves us in the right direction.

“We need to continue to work with our partners and local authorities to deliver not only additional emergency accommodation, but also long-term social housing solutions.”

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