“When I starts going in [to the Emergency Shelter] I didn’t know what to be expecting. I’d never been in that situation before. And to be honest I was just sitting there looking around me thinking what am I after doing to myself.”
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During 2016, an average of 53 people per night relied on a Cork Simon emergency bed. This figure has risen from an average of 50 people per night in 2015 and 47 people per night in 2014.
Average length of stay at our Emergency Shelter has increased 38% in 4 years rising from 39 nights in 2013 to 54 nights in 2016.
52 people staying at our Emergency Shelter in 2016 were long term homeless.
Long term homelessness, defined by Government as continuous or episodic stays of 6 months or more in emergency accommodation over the past 12 months, increased at our Emergency Shelter by almost a quarter between 2014 and 2016.
According to Daft.ie’s latest rental report (Q4 2016), rents in Cork City increased 12% in 2016 bringing average rent in Cork City to €1,096. Rents in Cork County increased 12.9% bringing average rent in the county to €795.
Recent research by Abrivia Recruitment and the Trinity Business School found one fifth of people could not afford the rental increases they experienced in the past year.
While the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones and the capping of rent increases in these zones to 4% per annum is a positive step, we continue to call for full rent certainty linking annual rent reviews to the consumer price index.
“The prices are ridiculous. It’s Cork at the minute; it’s crazy to get anywhere, like. You find one that’s in your price range and there’s six, seven other people in front of you there and a lot of them have cash in their hand ready to go because they know how hard it is. I’ve got so many times just refused, just refused.”
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Average rent for a 1 bedroom property in Cork City is 57% higher than the Rent Allowance / HAP limit for a single person.
When we checked Daft.ie over 3 days in late February 2017, there were 0 properties available in Cork City within this Rent Allowance / HAP limit.
Average rent for a 2 bedroom property in Cork City is 23% higher than the Rent Allowance / HAP limit for a couple / single parent and two children.
When we checked Daft.ie over 3 days in late February 2017, there was only 1 appropriate* property available in Cork City within this Rent Allowance / HAP limit.
* 3 properties were available within the price range but 2 could not be considered appropriate, having only a double and single bed.
The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland, compiled by the CSO, found almost 1 in 6 people in Ireland (17%) are at risk of poverty.
However 61% of people in rental accommodation are at risk of poverty. The CSO deemed anyone with an annual income of less than €12,000 to be at risk of poverty.
According to Daft.ie’s Irish House Price Report Q4 2016 , house prices in Cork City increased more than the national average in 2016.
The Housing Agency has ranked house prices in Cork as ‘Moderately Unaffordable’.
Increasingly unaffordable house prices will drive more people to look for, and stay longer in, rental accommodation, further increasing demand in the private rental sector.
If just 1.2% of vacant properties in Cork City were ‘repaired and leased’, 53 people – the number of people on average staying each night in a Cork Simon Emergency Bed – could be housed.
If just 6.5% of vacant properties in Cork City were ‘repaired and leased’, 293 people – the number of people in Emergency Accommodation in Cork – could have a home of their own.
* 293 adults were recorded as staying in Emergency Accommodation in Cork during 1 week in February 2017, according to the Department of Housing, Community and Local Government.
According to the latest census, there are 4,491 vacant homes (excluding holiday homes) in Cork City. Throughout all of Cork there are over 20,000 vacant properties.