| 4.8°C Dublin

Tragic deaths Record numbers of homeless deaths in Dublin 'cannot be tolerated'

Of the 79 that died, 44 had been in emergency accommodation, 27 had been in long-term supported tenancies and eight had died while sleeping rough.

Close

Homeless people setting up for the night in tents on deserted city centre streets.

Homeless people setting up for the night in tents on deserted city centre streets.

Homeless people setting up for the night in tents on deserted city centre streets.

A 61 per cent increase in the numbers of homeless deaths in the last year means the issue cannot be tolerated, a Dublin TD has said. 

Social Democrats Housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan was responding to an Oireachtas Housing Committee hearing that was told a record 79 people who are homeless in Dublin died in 2020.

According to the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive this figure compares to 49 in 2019 and 47 in 2018.

Of the 79 that died, 44 had been in emergency accommodation, 27 had been in long-term supported tenancies and eight had died while sleeping rough.

Five of the deaths were unspecified.

Despite this, the report shows that there's been a decrease of 446 families in emergency accommodation since the start of last year.

Social Democrats Housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan said: “It is tragic that so many people who are homeless died in 2020. It's incredibly worrying that we have seen a 61% increase in homeless deaths in a year.

“We cannot tolerate this. We know what needs to be done to end homelessness. We have to provide people with homes and supports. The Minister must urgently take action to address this.

“The median age of death of someone who is homeless in Dublin is 42 – that is decades shorter than the rest of the population. We cannot allow this to continue.

“The Government needs to ramp up the delivery of Housing First – where people who are homeless are provided with a home of their own and, crucially, with wraparound services to support their needs. This is an evidence-based approach that works and it needs to be rolled out rapidly.”

Minister O’Brien said this week that protecting the most vulnerable, especially those living in homelessness, has been the key priority for department.

“We have made significant progress in tackling homelessness, although the situation is still challenging,” he said.

“The homeless figures for November show a decrease of 1,964 individuals or 18.8% on the total recorded in November 2019.

Thankfully there has been a 38.6% decrease in the numbers of families in emergency accommodation and a very welcome 72% reduction in the number of families accommodated in commercial hotels in the past year.”

He added: “The Dublin Region Homeless Executive recorded its highest number of tenancies created in a month in November, with 381 created in total and they are helping to prevent people from ever entering homelessness services as well as helping those who are engaged in them to successfully exit.

“In Budget 2021 we have put aside €218m for homeless spending, an increase of 31% on Budget 2020, and with numbers falling we are moving towards long term solutions not just keeping our head above the water.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy