News & Events
The homeless and housing charity, Peter McVerry Trust, has said it is concerned about a spike in the number of single people becoming homeless. The charity made the comments as the homeless figures for January 2017 show yet another monthly increase, with 7,167 people now in homelessness.
Reacting to the figures, Francis Doherty, Head of Communications at Peter McVerry Trust said “During the 4 weeks from late December to late January the number of single people in homelessness rose by 163, a very significant increase in just one month. That monthly increase is significantly larger than any increase recorded during 2016 and points to the huge difficulty many single people are facing when they try keep up payments on their existing homes or to secure affordable accommodation.”
“There are now almost 500 more adults (without dependents) in homelessness compared with January 2016. An increase of almost 20% in the last 12 months.
“Single people face enormous challenges as they attempt to exit homelessness. The lack of affordable rental accommodation is the currently the main barrier they face. That, coupled with the legacy of failing to build social housing for single people means that pathways out of homelessness are very limited and challenging to find.”
“Unfortunately, because of the difficulties single people face it is they who face the longest stay in homelessness. Our concern is that the needs of this cohort is not receiving the level of attention needed in order to provide housing pathways as quickly as possible.”
Continuing Mr Doherty said that new housing supply must recognise the huge need for single and two person units and not just 3 and 4 bed homes for larger families.
“It is imperative that Minister Coveney, the Department of Housing and Local Authorities ensure that private and public housing programmes deliver for the needs of single people. The accommodation that is preferred by private builders is 3 and 4 bed homes, yet what we have the greatest shortage of is housing for single people and other smaller household sizes. We cannot lose sight of those needs and allow the market to ignore those individuals.”