The number of people experiencing homelessness in Ireland have topped 10,000 for the first time this year.
Figures released by the Department of Housing show that at the end of April 7,105 adults and 2,944 children were accessing emergency accommodation across the country, a total of 10,049. This is the highest figure since 2020.
This is up from 9,825 in March and represents a 24pc increase compared with the same month last year, or an additional 1,967 people.
The figure of 7,105 is comprised of 4,587 men and 2,518 women. The majority of those people seeking emergency accommodation are aged between 24 to 44 at 53pc, while 18pc are aged between 18 to 24, 27pc are aged over 45 and just 2pc are aged over 65.
Charity groups say this is the highest number of young people on record.
Dublin accounts for 70pc of homeless adults, while 8pc live in the south-west, 6pc live in the mid-east, 5pc are based in the mid-west, 4pc live in the west of Ireland, and 3pc are in the south-east. The midlands, north-east and north-west are each home to 1pc of the adult population.
In total, 1,308 families live in emergency accommodation across the country, of which 691 are single parent families.
The director of advocacy at Focus Ireland said all of its services across the country are experiencing an increase in demand.
Mike Allen said prevention is “crucial” and the long-term solution is to build more homes.
“People getting evicted from properties either because the landlord is selling up or because they’ve fallen behind in their rent because of the HAP payment. It’s much, much harder for people to get out of homelessness,” he told RTÉ’s News at One.
“But while we’re waiting for more homes let’s not destroy people’s lives, if you look at when it went over 10,000, the first time in 2019, the Department announced a whole range of different things they were going to do and if you look at what’s being discussed now it’s exactly the same thing.
“What we absolutely need to know is that when the Government commits to act on these things now that they actually bring in measures that transform them and we aren’t back here in a few months' time.”
The majority of people experiencing homelessness are Irish at 64pc, 21pc are from the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA) and 15pc are from outside the EEA.
Of the more than 10,000 included in the figures, 3,950 people were living in private emergency accommodation such as hotels and B&Bs. 3,075 people were staying in supported temporary accommodation such as family hubs and hostels, with onsite professional support.
Another 125 were living in temporary emergency accommodation, which is emergency accommodation with no or minimal support.
Simon Communities of Ireland head of policy and communication Wayne Stanley said: "While we acknowledge that there are important initiatives happening in Government and positive policy being developed across the Oireachtas, seeing the number of people in homelessness exceed 10,000 again painfully highlights that the depth of the housing crisis means incremental advancements in our housing system is not enough to get ahead of the homelessness crisis."
The department's figures refer to the number of homeless people accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities during a specific count week, typically the last full week of the month.