Homelessness in Ireland
Homelessness in Ireland is an evolving social issue. During the 19th century, homelessness was a pervasive impact of the Great Famine (1845–1852). During the 20th century, homelessness in Ireland was associated with older males who may have had alcoholism or other addiction issues. However, since the 1990s and into the 21st century, it has been recognised that the homeless population includes increasing numbers of women and children.
In 2013, spokespersons of the Irish government stated that they would have "eradicated homelessness" in Ireland by 2016. However, this goal was not achieved. Rather, by 2017, the issue and prevalence of homelessness had increased, with the number of homeless people in Ireland rising by 25% between September 2016 and September 2017. Figures published during 2016 and early 2017 indicated that there were then 4,377 people living in emergency accommodation, the highest figure seen in Ireland to that date. By mid-2019 this had increased further, with figures indicating that more than 10,000 people were homeless in Ireland, with approximately one-third of these being children.
A "Homelessness Report" by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in November 2016, indicated that the issue was most prevalent in the Dublin area, but with hundreds of homeless families and individuals in other regions also. Commentators have attributed the ongoing events (described in the news media as the 'homelessness crisis') to the post-2008 Irish economic downturn and 'subsequent fiscal adjustments', and the parallel impacts of reduced familial incomes, mortgage arrears and rental increases which followed impacts to housing supply.
Youth homelessness is often defined as a separate issue to homelessness. Though the issue was not recognized by government until the late 1980s, since the mid-1960s youth homelessness was gradually articulated as a form of homelessness different from that experienced by adults.
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- Homelessness Report November 2016 (PDF) (Report). Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. November 2016.
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- "Housing and homeless crisis 'out of control'". Irish Times. 18 August 2015.
- "Homeless problem could get far worse, says Peter McVerry". Irish Times. 12 January 2017.
- "Housing supply at worst level for 50 years as prices exceed boomtime levels". Independent News & Media. 11 July 2016.
- "Urgent action needed to tackle rent increases, charity says". Irish Times. 31 August 2015.
- O’Sullivan, Eoin, and Paula Mayock. "Youth Homelessness in Ireland." Youth Studies Ireland (2008): 15.
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