NEW Government figures show the highest national monthly figure on record for people in emergency accommodation, with a 19% year-on-year increase in Cork.
At the end of July, there were 491 adults in emergency accommodation in Cork, marking a 5% increase since June this year and a 19% increase since July 2021.
Figures published by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage show that 730 men, women, and children were in emergency accommodation in the South West, which incorporates Cork and Kerry, in July, which is up 4% since June, and up 23% in 12 months.
Nationally, there were 10,568 men, women and children in emergency accommodation, representing a 30% increase in 12 months, which is the highest monthly national figure on record.
There were 7,431 adults in emergency accommodation nationally in July 2022, which is up 24% in 12 months, and this means there were 3,137 children living in emergency accommodation in Ireland in the last week of July.
In Cork and Kerry, 585 adults were in emergency accommodation in July, up 5% since June, and up 19% in 12 months.
Of those adults, 191 women were in emergency accommodation in the South West in July 2022, a 7% increase since June, and a 32% increase since last July.
There were 145 children, listed as child dependents, in emergency accommodation in Cork and Kerry in July, which represented no change since June’s figures, but is up 40% in 12 months.
Responding to the figures, Paul Sheehan, campaigns and communications manager with Cork Simon, noted that the figure of 491 adults in emergency accommodation in Cork in July was 10% higher than the pre-pandemic monthly peak of 447 adults which was recorded in October 2019.
Mr Sheehan said the current figure matches the post-pandemic monthly peak of 491 adults in February of this year.
“These figures are particularly worrying in the context of a housing crisis that continues to worsen,” Mr Sheehan said.
“Housing supply is at an all-time low, rents are at an all-time high; the cost of housing is beyond the reach for an increasing number of people.
“Rising inflation and cost of living is piling added pressure on households as we head into the autumn and winter period.
“Current housing supply is not sufficient. Together with our colleagues in the Simon Communities throughout Ireland, Cork Simon is urging the Government to bring 5,000 vacant properties throughout the State back into use in 2023 through a renewed repair and lease scheme to house people in homelessness and those waiting on social housing,” he said.
“It’s one of a range of measures we have submitted to Government in advance of Budget 2023.
“We are now at a crisis point, and an emergency crisis response is required,” he said.