Latest homeless figures reveal another increase, with the number of children experiencing homelessness at all time high.

The latest homeless figures according to the Department of Housing show a significant increase compared to last year’s homelessness figures with 9,891 people reported to be homeless (21% increase). Adults make up 6,024 of this while children account for 3,867, the largest number of homeless children ever recorded in the state.

This figure represents people/families in emergency accommodation and does not consider those who are hidden homeless staying with friends or relatives; women/adults & children in refuges and those in direct provision.

Novas’ Intensive Family Support service in Limerick is currently working with over 100 families, with a further 30 on waiting lists. The single biggest issues facing these families is access to affordable housing. Rent prices in the city increased by 20% in the last quarter, the biggest increase nationally, this coupled with a dearth of rental properties in the city, makes it increasingly difficult for low income households to secure accommodation in the private rented sector.

Until we start building social and affordable housing on scale and tap into the potential that vacant properties has to offer, the situation will only deteriorate further.