March 2022 Monthly Homeless Report and Homeless Quarterly Progress Report Quarter 1 2022 Published
- Over 9,800 homeless recorded in March – a 3.5% increase on previous month
- 3% increase in number of people who exited or were prevented from entering emergency accommodation in Q1 2022
- Youth Homelessness Strategy due to be published in Quarter 3
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, has today (29 April 2022) published the Monthly Homeless Report for March 2022 and the Homeless Quarterly Progress Report for Quarter 1 2022.
Monthly Homeless Report for March 2022
The Monthly Homeless Report for March 2022 shows that 9,825 individuals were homeless, an increase of 333 (3.5%) on the February 2022 total. The number remains lower (-7%) since its highest level in October 2019 but recent increases are serious cause for concern.
Among the homeless adults recorded in March, 4,957 (71%) were single adults and there were 1,238 families in emergency accommodation.
A total of 2,811 children (under-18) associated with these families, were in emergency accommodation in March 2022.
Homeless Quarterly Progress Report for Quarter 1 2022
Approximately 413 families presented as homeless in the Dublin region in Q1 2022, an increase of 8% on the corresponding period in 2021 (381). 245 families entered emergency accommodation in the Dublin region in Q1 2022, an increase of 91 on Q1 2021.
The report shows that during Q1 2022, 1,228 adults and their dependants exited, or were prevented from entering emergency accommodation, by way of a tenancy being created.
The report also shows that 775 people exited emergency accommodation to private rented tenancies under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme and 214 people exited homelessness to local authority homes in Q1 2022.
Housing First programme for long-term homeless
The Department also provided information today on the first full operational quarter of the new Housing First National Implementation Plan 2022-2026, a key response to ending long-term homelessness among those with complex health and mental health needs. The Housing First Programme provides the most vulnerable of our homeless population with a home for life as well as with key wraparound health and social supports. A total of 58 new supported tenancies commenced in Q1 2022. Through the programme, there are 703 high-support need individuals, who were formerly rough sleepers or long-term users of emergency accommodation, housed and supported in their own homes. The programme is now operational in every county in Ireland.
Commenting on the details contained in the reports published today, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien T.D. said:
“The continuing increase in the numbers accessing emergency accommodation is a serious concern. The Government, local authorities and others are making every effort to reduce homelessness. Key to this is the delivery of new social housing and boosting overall supply.
“The Government is investing significantly in social and affordable housing, with a record €4 billion allocated for current and capital investment in housing this year alone. Funding is in place to deliver 11,800 social homes, including 9,000 new build homes, building on the progress made last year when 9,183 new social homes were provided, a 17% increase on 2020.
“Increasing overall housing supply across tenures (social, affordable, private rental and private ownership) is also critical. To the end of March this year over 22,000 new homes were completed, the highest rolling 12-month average over the past decade. Commencement Notices for almost 35,000 new homes were received between April 2021 and March 2022, the highest rolling 12-month total since comparable data were first published.”
“We are providing more social homes, we are completing more homes in general and we have a strong pipeline of homes commenced. This supply activity, as well as targeted measures specifically centred on homelessness, will allow us to meet the challenge of eradicating homelessness.”
Under Housing for All, the Government’s national housing plan to 2030, the Government is committed to providing 47,600 new-build social homes by the end of 2026, and 90,000 social homes by 2030. In terms of social housing delivery:
- Last year, 9,183 new social homes were provided, a 17% increase on 2020.
- This year, there is a target to deliver 9,000 new build social homes, which will be delivered by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies
- Overall, in 2021, over 23,000 households on local authority housing lists had their housing needs met.
- The Government continues to ensure vacant social housing units are brought back into use as quickly as possible through the voids programme. Investment of over €90 million since the start of 2020 has brought some 6,000 units back into use. Further significant funding is being provided this year.
- The HAP scheme plays a vital role in housing eligible families and individuals. At the end of Q4 2021, over 100,000 HAP tenancies had been created since the scheme commenced. More than 61,900 households are actively in receipt of HAP support and over 33,000 separate landlords and agents provide accommodation to households supported by the scheme. The HAP scheme continues to be an important social housing support and remains a part of the suite of social housing options currently available across the country.
- The 2021 Summary of Social Housing Assessments showed that 59,247 households were assessed as being qualified for, and in need of, social housing support (as of 17 November 2021). This figure is down 2,633 (4.3%) from 61,880 households on 2 November 2020. This figure also represents a total decrease of 32,353 (35.3%) since 2016.
In terms of overall housing supply, the Government, through Housing for All, targets 24,600 homes being built this year.
- To the end of March this year, over 22,000 new homes were completed, the highest rolling 12-month average over the past decade.
- Commencement Notices for 34,846 new homes were received between April 2021 and March 2022, the highest rolling 12-month total since comparable data was first published.
National Homeless Action Committee
The Minister reiterated his commitment to working towards eradicating homelessness by 2030. He said:
“The National Homeless Action Committee, which I chair, continues to meet regularly. Joined-up policy and action is key to the delivery of homeless actions, including those under the Government’s Housing for All plan.
“A number of measures have been identified and are now being advanced. The first draft of the Youth Homelessness Strategy has also been circulated to members of the committee. It will outline the causes of youth homelessness and what actions are required to help young people who are aged 18 – 24 and who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. I aim to publish the Strategy later this year.”
The Minister also supported the recommendation contained in the Housing Assistance and Discrimination Scoping Study on the ‘Housing Assistance Ground’ under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 by Rory Hearne and Judy Walsh (on behalf of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission) relating to the provision of information in HAP documentation alerting tenants and landlords that discrimination on housing assistance grounds is unlawful. He said that inclusion of such information on the HAP website and application form will be considered and progressed by officials in the department.
Notes to Editors
Link to Homeless Report - March 2022
Link to Homeless Quarterly Progress Report for Q1 2022
- The Quarterly Progress Report is prepared by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, based on quarterly performance reports submitted by the nine regional lead authorities responsible for the administration of homeless services at local level.
- Children have been clearly enumerated in the monthly homeless statistics since July 2021 so comparisons with previously published data must be qualified, given that they are not directly comparable.
- The Government continues to ensure vacant social housing units are brought back into use as quickly as possible through the voids programme. Investment of over €90 million since the start of 2020 has brought some 6,000 units back into use. Further significant funding is being provided this year. The return to use of vacant local authority will be allocated to those on social housing waiting lists, including those currently in emergency accommodation.
- The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme plays a vital role in housing eligible families and individuals. At the end of Q4 2021, over 100,000 HAP tenancies had been set-up since the scheme commenced. More than 61,900 households are actively in receipt of HAP support and over 33,000 separate landlords and agents provide accommodation to households supported by the scheme. The HAP scheme continues to be an effective and secure forms of social housing support and remains a part of the suite of social housing options currently available across the country.
- The Housing Agency undertook an analytical exercise on behalf of the Department, to better understand what level of discretion should be made available to Local Authorities under HAP. This review was submitted to the Department on 20 December 2021. The Department is currently in the process of reviewing the Housing Agency discretion report and is carrying out an analysis of the data and conclusions presented in it. This analysis by the Department and the Housing Agency report will be the basis for recommendations to the Minister in Quarter 2 of 2022.
- The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage also funds Threshold’s National Tenancy Protection Service, which is instrumental in preventing homelessness in the first instance and supporting people to remain in their homes.
- In December, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage issued new guidance to local authorities on the preparation of local Homelessness Action Plans. This guidance is to support the implementation of Housing for All, in particular, the policy provisions and actions on homelessness.
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Press Office
Tel: (01) 888 2638 (direct)