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Irish Housing Crisis: A Major Facilitator of Homelessness.

Photo by Apollo22 for Pixabay

“I was evicted from my rented apartment in Dublin by the Landlord and could not find another place to shelter and this has become a nightmare for me. I had to be accommodated by a friend in Donegal County and this is affecting my studies in Dublin”, said Moses, an international postgraduate student in Griffith College Dublin.

Focus Ireland statistics shows over 10,000 number of people who are homeless and rely on emergency accommodation. The daily rising of homeless people in Ireland has become a bug on the Irish Government. The number of homeless people in Ireland has increased to 11,754 this January with much increase among single adults.

The YouTube video below by Monighan productions narrates through Fr Peter McVerry and a homeless Dubliner, the alarming situation of housing and homelessness.

Homeless in Ireland YouTube video by Monighan production.

The Simon communities Ireland grouped the causes of homelessness into four categories which is the structural cause that has to do with social and economic conditions like lack of social housing, reliance on private rental market, discrimination (travellers, non-Irish nationals). Institutional causes that is attributed to individuals living in an institutional setting (like lived in foster care, refugees). Relationship causes that is targeted to breakdown or separation from family as a result of domestic violence and abuse. Personal causes that is related to health issues, mental health issues.

The Government of Ireland has been accommodating Ukrainians since the Russia and Ukraine war which has posed a challenge and a supply chain crisis for housing. The quarterly progress report of the Government Housing for All plan states the war in Ukraine could cause problems of home building, identifying that the war has led to significant inflationary pressures, with supply chain destabilisation in putting the plan into place.

The Ukrainian war is said to have affected so many sectors like the rising energy cost and material costs affecting the construction sectors. There is uncertainty in the availability and cost of building materials like steel and timber which was caused by disruption of the supply chain as a result of the war.

Photo by Etienne Girardet for Unsplash.

According to the society of chartered surveyors Ireland, the annual rate of construction price inflation is now running at over 13% and the Ukrainian war is likely to escalate the rise in cost.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) recorded 17,000 landlords that left the market between 2017 and the end of 2019. This led to a fall in the number of rental properties at a period when the demand for housing was rising. This led to the demand f rental properties by individuals that was higher than the supply. The landlords are likely to increase house rents as a result of increase in mortgage or the high demand of property for renting  which will in turn render some people homeless as they might not afford for such increase.

St Mungo’s organisation Ireland reports that Ireland is experiencing cost of living crisis that have had a direct impact on individuals being homeless.

Focus Ireland identified possible solutions to housing and homelessness crisis as providing housing with supports. St Mungo Ireland appeals to the government for their support by increasing benefits in line with inflation, to ensure people are housed. They also appeal that the government should urgently review the benefit cap to be in line with average households’ income and increasing cost of living. They equally suggest that as rents go up, the government supports for housing costs should increase as well.

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