Peter McVerry Trust, the national homeless and housing charity, has called for greater emphasis to be placed on the delivery of one-bedroom homes in order to reduce homelessness. It comes as the latest homeless figures show a further rise to 12,441 in May 2023, up 182 on the April figure.
Francis Doherty, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We badly need to turn the corner and get the number of people in homelessness down and keep it going on a downward trajectory. To do that we really must look closely at the type of social housing that is being delivered because ultimately, we need to know if we are going to deliver the homes that are the right size, that are affordable and in the right locations to provide pathways out of homelessness.”
“Peter McVerry Trust’s concern is that while housing output grows, the type of homes being delivered doesn’t adequately reflect the needs of people impacted by homelessness or even the main need of people on the wider social housing waiting lists.”
“Almost 50% of the people in homelessness last month needed a one bed home, no other house type comes anywhere near that figure. This week if you looked at the total number of one-bedroom homes to buy on the market on daft.ie or myhome.ie of any type or price there are just around 600 nationally. So even if we bought every single one of those homes tomorrow you are only securing 10% of the homes we need to tackle the needs of single homeless people in May.”
“The State is spending enormous amounts on housing and enabling widespread housing delivery by the private sector, Land Development Agency, local authorities and approved housing bodies. Where the State is enabling these housing projects through funding mechanisms and other means it needs to ensure that these schemes include adequate numbers of one-bedroom homes. If not, then we are designing future housing delivery to exclude or under deliver for the greater social housing need.”
“At the end of the day, special needs social housing providers like Peter McVerry Trust, even with our ambition to deliver more homes than ever before, will only ever be able to provide a portion of the homes needed to tackle homelessness. There must be greater delivery by other entities and agencies if we are to get people out of homelessness and ultimately offer more housing choice for single people so as to avoid them becoming homeless as well.”