Everyone wishes to live a standard and luxurious life along the right to housing throughout the world. The right to housing has been recognized in Europe and is included in eighty-one constitutions. However, when you talk about Ireland, the country has no constitutional or legally established right to housing.
This right to housing is recognized in the country’s constitution might turn out to be a significant step in protecting people experiencing homelessness in Ireland. In addition to that, the right to housing would also enhance protection in recognition that a home is undoubtedly a center of dignity for every person.
How Many People are Homeless in Ireland?
As per the reports of the last week of December 2020, there were around 8200 homeless people in Ireland. This figure includes both children and adults. The number of homeless families has drastically increased (232%) since 2014. Nearly one-third of the people in the emergency are children.
However, these figures do not include “hidden homelessness,” which refers to people living in squats or sofa surfing with friends. Furthermore, women and kids living in domestic violence refuges are also not included in these homeless emergency accommodation counts.
Are Families Getting Affected?
People living in emergency accommodations in the past were single adults. But in the recent past, there has been a rapid increase in the number of families becoming homeless, and in December 2020, 970 families accessed emergency accommodation, including 2327 children.
Why are So many People Homeless in Ireland?
There are several reasons for people being homeless in Ireland. Let’s discuss them.
· Country Lacks a Proper Housing System
The primary cause of the homeless crisis in Ireland is its broken and unstable housing system. The country does not have a proper public housing system that can cater to the needs of society.
· Structural Factors
Homeliness can also be caused by structural factors such as lack of affordable housing, unemployment, inadequate mental health services, poverty, etc.
· Personal Factors
Some personal factors also play a role in homelessness, including addictions, family breakdown, mental health issues, etc. In recent times, structural economic factors are leading to family homelessness.
· Increased Pricing of the Private Rental Market
According to Focus Ireland and research and analysis, an increased number of families becoming homeless had a stable home in a private rented sector. The crisis in this sector is the primary cause of their homelessness. Landlords are selling up or being repossessed, scarcity of properties allowing rent supplement, shortage of properties to rent, and high rents serve to be the root cause of homelessness in Ireland.
Most families experiencing homelessness have never experienced homelessness before; instead, they never thought this could happen to them. Plenty of more families are struggling due to low incomes or social welfare. Many are falling into serious housing difficulties because rents are increasing.
So, the question is, what is the solution to this problem? The answer is “social housing.” Social housing is the best solution for the ratification of homeless people in Ireland.
What is Social Housing?
Social houses are granted by housing associations or a local council and serve to be a crucial part of the country’s housing system. These homes have rents pledged to local incomes, and they provide an affordable and secure housing option for the citizens. The best thing about social housing is that it is much more affordable than private renting and provides a securer and long-term tenancy. That’s how the social renters get improved rights, enhanced control over their homes, and the chance to put down roots.
Importance of Social Housing and its Role in the Ratification of Homeless People in Ireland
Social houses act as a safety covering for the families and individuals that have been thrown away from the private rental market due to high rental costs or lack of housing.
Social housing provision has drastically decreased in the last decade, which resulted in an increased demand for private household buildings across the country. Nearly 1 in 5 households live in privately rented homes compared to 1 in 10 that lived ten years ago. This situation leads to enormous pressure on the private rental market, due to which rents increased drastically along with the scarcity of the property to rent.
Hence, the best solution for the ratification of the homeless in Ireland is building social housing culture. This activity can send families and kids back to their homes and bring about peace and prosperity in the country.