North West Simon Community has launched an Urgent Christmas Appeal for donations, as the latest Homeless Report reveals that 11,397 people were living in Local Authority managed emergency accommodation across the country in October 2022.
This is an increase of 3.8% from the number of 10,975 homeless last month, and the first time the number of people in emergency accommodation has ever exceeded 11,000.
The Department of Housing’s Monthly Homelessness Report for October 2022, shows 39 children and 101 Adults were homeless in Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo, between 26 – 30 October 2022. The number of child dependents is unchanged but there are 9 fewer homeless adults than there were in September.
The average number of people homeless each month has now increased from 43.6 in 2016 to 106.6 in the first ten months of 2022.
Announcing the North West Simon Community Christmas Appeal, CEO Noel Daly, says these latest figures show that the country is facing an enormous crisis, and the North West region cannot hope to escape the worst effects of it, without significant new measures being introduced.
“In 2021 our Housing Team assisted 133 households to avoid using emergency accommodation. At the end of last year, 91 of these households required ongoing support. Already this year, 162 new households have sought our assistance to resolve housing-related problems to avoid becoming homeless.
“The assistance we provide, is needed more than ever before. After a disappointing response to our statutory funding applications in 2022 North West Simon Community must achieve a balanced budget next year.
“We urgently need financial support from people and businesses across the region to continue our work in 2023. Over the next number of weeks, we will contact individuals and businesses to appeal for support to maintain our services”
Members of the public can also choose to support our work by making a donation through the Simon Community’s website on https://www.northwestsimon.ie/donate-now/
Noel Daly expects that the moratorium on evictions introduced at the start of November will provide temporary breathing room for many vulnerable individuals and families facing eviction this winter.
But the problems these tenants faced in finding a secure home haven’t been resolved. The latest figures clearly demonstrate the need for Government action to ensure there won’t be a further surge in homelessness, when the moratorium ends in March 2023. The Department of Housing is facing nearly half a billion underspend at the end of 2022.
Mr Daly added “Urgent action to quickly increase our social and affordable housing stock by bringing vacant properties into use, and ramping up the tenant in situ purchase scheme to take properties into state ownership where an owner is selling up and leaving the market, simply makes common sense.
“Without direct action of this nature, the underfunded voluntary sector will struggle to deal with the overwhelming numbers likely to be evicted when the moratorium ends.”
He adds that North West Simon Community remains eager to be of assistance to people at risk of homelessness but we need the support of the Government and people across the region to do so.