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Homelessness

To achieve the objectives of providing adequate and appropriate accommodation in sufficient numbers, reducing social housing waiting lists and eliminating homelessness, Government must pursue the following four proposals in Budget 2020.

In 2017, the Government introduced Family Hubs as an alternative to hotels and B&Bs and described as a “first step” for families experiencing homelessness.  Later that year, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) warned of the risks associated with Family Hubs, of institutionalising families and normalising family homelessness.  This warning was ignored, with Minister Murphy urging local authorities to build more rapid build Family Hubs at the Second Housing Summit in January 2018, and increased funding for Family Hubs provided in Budget 2019. 

A report published by the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman (OCO) this week (18 April 2019) shows just how prescient IHREC’s warnings were, as children as young as 10 describe their living conditions as being “like a prison”.


Social Justice Ireland’s
annual Socio-Economic Review is entitled Social Justice Matters. This book is about charting a course to a better Ireland. At the foundation of that is the model of development we follow.

Homelessness influences every facet of a child’s life from conception to young adulthood and the experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioural development of children.

Recent commentary that homelessness in Ireland is ‘normal’ is completely without foundation.  As the economy has continued to improve, the homelessness and housing crises have worsened.  Family and child homelessness have increased by over 320 per cent since 2014.  This is not normal, this demands an emergency response.

700,000 on healthcare waiting lists, 500,000 homes without broadband, over 11,000 people homeless – a result of Government policy failing to tackle causes - Social Justice Ireland publishes National Social Monitor Winter 2018.

In order to improve the wellbeing of everyone in society, at all stages of the life cycle, it is vital that our policies address the causes of problems rather than their symptoms only.  It is through this lens that Social Justice Ireland examines the ten policy areas in the National Social Monitor. 

On Thursday, 4th October 2018, the Dáil passed a motion to declare housing and homelessness a national emergency.  The motion, following a demonstration by over 10,000 people and brought by Solidarity – People before Profit, called on Government to declare this emergency and to do something to increase the supply of affordable, sustainable homes.

This section of our National Social Monitor Autumn 2018 provides a brief insight into the housing and homelessess crisis in Ireland, reviewing the construction data, mortgage arrears statistics and homelessnes figures and proposing a number of policy priorities to tackle the causes of these issues.

The Government has failed to respond adequately to our nation’s housing crisis. There are almost 87,000 households on social housing waiting lists - over half of whom are families - and 10,000 homeless, of whom 3,600 are children. This is a national emergency. The impact of homelessness and precarious housing on our nation’s children will be felt for generations to come.

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