21% increase in Youth Homelessness shows need for eviction ban and improved tenant rights

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
27 August 2021
  • 930 families still without a home and total homelessness up again by 118 to 8,132.
  • 943 young people aged 18-24 without a home, an increase of 165 or 21% in one month.
  • Evictions are the primary cause of homelessness.

Responding to the July homelessness figures, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan highlighted the deeply concerning increase in people aged 18 to 24 experiencing homelessness and called on the Minister to re-introduce a ban on evictions, and to support the Labour Party’s Tenant Rights bill that will come before the Dáil this autumn.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Today’s latest homelessness figures once again show an increase in the overall level of homelessness in our country, but I am particularly concerned at the escalating number of young people without a home. There is a clear need to reinstate and extend the eviction ban to protect the most vulnerable in our society and I would urge the Minister to back our Tenant Rights bill when it comes before the Dáil.

“930 families are still without a home. Despite record funding the government’s policies aren’t working because the primary cause of homelessness is evictions and the Minister won’t act comprehensively.

“The July report now shows that 943 people aged 18-24 are without a home, making up 16% of homeless adults. That is an increase of 165 people or 21% in that age category in the space of a month. It’s clear that spiralling rents, lack of supply and the ease of eviction is impacting on young people most.

“In total, the number of people without a home rose again from 8,014 in June, to 8,132 in July. There has been a change in the report about how child dependents are counted so we can’t compare exactly to last month, but what we do know is that 2,129 children are without a home. That is simply not good enough in a country as wealthy as Ireland and will have serious long term consequences for their development.

“We now see homelessness figures creeping up month by month again and children and young people are suffering most. Most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market. The government acted to cap rent increases at the rate of inflation but it was too little and too late.

“I have highlighted for many months that the relaxation of Covid rules around eviction would result in an increase in homelessness but the Fianna Fáil Minister has continued the failed approach of his Fine Gael predecessor. I remain gravely worried for renters. We already have a real issue with affordability in the rental sector and it is far to easy to evict people.

“The Minister needs to ensure renters are adequately protected as the economy recovers and people get back to work. It’s time to actually freeze rents until more supply and ban no fault evictions, and ensure when a property is sold that a tenant can remain in place.

“Instead of giving the same old response, the Government has to act with the sense of urgency this crisis demands.”

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