National Statistics on Use of Emergency Accommodation

The Housing Act 1988, provides the legal definition of homelessness in Ireland:

2. A person shall be regarded by a housing authority as being homeless for the purposes of this Act if—

(a) there is no accommodation available which, in the opinion of the authority, he, together with any other person who normally resides with him or who might reasonably be expected to reside with him, can reasonably occupy or remain in occupation of, or

(b) he is living in a hospital, county home, night shelter or other such institution, and is so living because he has no accommodation of the kind referred to in paragraph (a), and he is, in the opinion of the authority, unable to provide accommodation from his own resources.

The Department’s official homelessness statistics are published on a monthly basis and refer to the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation managed by local authorities during one full week. The reports are produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS), collated on a regional basis and compiled and published by the Department. Homelessness reporting commenced in this format in 2014.

It is important to note that monthly statistics published by Government do not include households frequently described as the “hidden homeless” that may be sleeping rough, living in refuges, or staying with parents, relatives or friends in overcrowded conditions, and those who have either not sought or not been approved for support by the local authority.

The most recent Social Housing Assessment completed in November 2020, identified 709 households that were eligible for social housing whose “current tenure” was listed as either “living with parents”, or “living with relatives/ friends”, in the North West region. This increase of 115 households since the 2019 Assessment, represents one third of the national increase under this category in the national assessment. There was what appears to be a corresponding decrease of 113 qualified households whose current tenure was Private Rented Accommodation. As mentioned elsewhere on this website, research has found that “Typically, these families went through a period of less stable accommodation – often living with friends or families – before approaching homeless services.” These statistics suggest that the number of people living in insecure housing in the North West Region is likely to be far higher than the monthly homeless statistics indicate.

North West Simon Community Service Statistics

One of the reports that prompted the development of North West Simon Community was the Annual Assessment of Homelessness 2002. This document recorded that 88 people were homeless in the 3 counties of Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo, in March of that year. (Source: Housing Statistics Bulletin May 2003).

The latest Monthly Homelessness Report published by the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage shows that 94 individuals – 74 single Adults, and 6 Families comprised of 7 Adults and 13 Child Dependentswere provided with local authority managed emergency accommodation in the North West, during the week 14-20 June 2021

North West Simon Community believes that the number of people at risk or experiencing homelessness in the North West region is likely to be significantly higher than these official statistics suggest.

In 2020, North West Simon Community provided accommodation and/or support to 499 individuals in 215 unique households comprised of 256 adults and 243 children.

North West Simon Community owns 21 houses in Donegal and Leitrim purchased using the Government’s Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) and leases a further 12 properties from Donegal Co Council for the provision of social housing to tenants from the local authority housing lists who were charged rent in line with local authority differential rates. A total of 34 Households comprising 39 Adults and 32 Children were accommodated in 2020, the majority of whom needed no further forms of support.

North West Simon Community provided Early Intervention and Homeless Preventative Support to 181 Households comprised of 242 Adults and 236 Children (478 Individuals)during 2020. This figure includes 10 households living in North West Simon Community housing who required support to manage their tenancy or with other social care matters. We are confident that 90% of the families and individuals supported were able to avoid using emergency accommodation because of our early intervention.

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Individuals were supported by North West Simon Community in 2020
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Adults were supported by North West Simon Community in 2020
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Children were supported by North West Simon Community during 2020
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Households comprising 75 Adults and 46 children were provided with support and/or accommodation in County Donegal during 2020
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Households comprising 92 Adults and 80 children were provided with accommodation and/or support in County Leitrim during 2020
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Households comprising of 89 Adults and 117 children availed of our support services in County Sligo during 2020

Official Homelessness Figures in the Republic of Ireland

Each month, the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage publish details of households accessing local authority managed emergency accommodation in each region of the country.

The latest statistics contained in Homelessness Report July 2021 on the number of people accommodated in local authority managed emergency accommodation in the Republic of Ireland overall and in the North West region are presented below.

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Adults in Emergency Accommodation in the week of 19 – 25 July 2021
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Child Dependents in Emergency Accommodation in the week of 19 – 25 July 2021
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Total Number in Emergency Accommodation in the week of 19 – 25 July 2021
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Adults in Emergency Accommodation in North West in the week of 19 – 25 July 2021
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Child Dependents in Emergency Accommodation in North West in the week 19 – 25 July 2021
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Total number of individuals in Emergency Accommodation in North West in the week of 19 – 25 July 2021

Reports about Homelessness

Download reports and research published by North West Simon Community and the Simon Communities in Ireland with all the facts and information you need to understand the complex problem of the homelessness and housing crisis in Ireland.

Housing Regulator’s Performance Standard
Housing Regulator’s Financial Standard
Housing Regulator’s Codes and Standards
Charity Regulator’s Governance Code
Women and Homelessness
National Quality Standards Framework for Homeless services
Preventing Homelessness
Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government Homelessness Report