Lone parents, families and non-nationals are a high representation of homeless, a new report showed on last Thursday.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) found that most homeless families had one or two children, while the average age of homeless adults was 32 years and the average age of children was seven years.
The report also showed that one-third of homeless families are non-Irish and two-thirds are single-parent families.
Dr. Bernie Donoghue Hynes, DRHE research director, said that the two main reasons leading to homelessness were because of the breaking-up of a relationship or they were forced to leave their rented accommodation.
Dr. Donoghue said that research shows that homelessness is complicated and requires some agency to solve it.
“I think it really paints a picture about the truth around homelessness, ” said by Cllr Daithi Doolan, chair of Dublin City Council’s Housing Committee.
The report from DRHE also emphasized that the homeless service has a heavy reliance on the private rental sector to house homeless families and provide homeless people Housing Assistance Fund (HHAP) to obtain housing in this sector.
Launched in 2015, HHAP allows homeless families to pay a higher rent to landlords than the normal HAP rent support plan, and pays the rent for the first two months in advance.
According to the homelessness data of all Dublin families from January 2016 to December 2017, the report shows that 1,878 families needed emergency accommodation – 902 in 2016 and 976 in 2017.
The author of the report, Dr. Bernie O’Donoghue-Hynes, said that, however, the proportion of new people using homeless services last year actually doubled from 2016, being granted the HHAP immediately could have seen around half of new people presenting as homeless in 2017 being redirected away from emergency accommodation.
This allowed DRHE to reduce the overall growth rate of homeless features to 93% last year, compared to about 350 in 2016, despite the surge in the number of new presentations.