Focus Ireland finds that 90% of homeless families had stable housing histories

Nine out of 10 families that are now homeless had stable housing histories and lived in their last stable home for over a year.

Also, 33% lived in their last stable home for more than six years, according to figures from Focus Ireland.

For a majority of families, the root cause of their homelessness was having to leave private rented accommodation.

Up to 53% of these families became homeless because their landlord had decided to stop renting out the property - either selling the property, moving their family or themselves into the property or the property being repossessed by the bank.

Focus Ireland interviewed 237 families that are homeless in Dublin as part of their latest report on homelessness in the capital.

In their survey, 68% of respondents stated that their last stable home was in the private rented sector.

The director of advocacy at the homeless charity has called on the Government to introduce a specific strategy for assisting homeless families.

Mike Allen was commenting following the release of a new report by the charity that found that lone parents, migrants and members of the Travelling community face a disproportionate risk of family homelessness.

Mike Allen.
Mike Allen.

Mr Allen told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland that three-quarters of the families who responded to the detailed survey had lengthy and successful tenancies.

He explained that the survey was conducted among families residing in emergency accommodation in Dublin and involved participants answering detailed interviews.

The report also found that three-quarters of the families were actively looking for rental properties, some had looked at more than 20 properties and were “desperately looking at places.”

Mr Allen said that people from outside Ireland were disproportionately represented in the homeless figures with 56% of those who participated in the survey from outside Ireland.

“These are people who have been in Ireland a long time, they have worked and lived here for years, and were in the private rental sector until this crisis hit them.”

There is now a record number of 10,378 people homeless in Ireland and nearly 4,000 of them are children.

Meanwhile, the number of families who are homeless has shot up by 298% in the last four years.

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