Increase in Adults in Emergency Accommodation in Cork

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s latest figures (March 2019) show 10,305 men, women and children are now in emergency accommodation nationally.

402 adults were recorded as staying in emergency accommodation in Cork during the week of March 25 – 31, 2019. This represents a 26% increase in 12 months.
Source: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

823 men, women and children were recorded as staying in emergency accommodation in the South West (Cork and Kerry) during one week in March 2019. This represents a 33.6% increase since March 2018. (The Department of Housing, Community and Local Government provides statistics on families and dependents in emergency accommodation by region only).
Source: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

It’s worth noting that these figures only capture people in emergency accommodation and don’t reflect the full scale of the homeless crisis. People rough sleeping, those in squats, parents and children in refuges, those in direct provision and the hidden homeless – people staying with family or friend on an insecure basis, often in over-crowded accommodation, because they have no where else to stay – are not counted among the 10,305 people now homeless nationally.

“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.”

Read more HOME TRUTHS

Cork Simon Emergency Beds
More people in need of a bed and people staying for longer

An average of 57 people per night stayed in our Emergency Shelter in 2018. Our Emergency Shelter has capacity for 47 people but each night we accommodate as many people as we safely can. In addition, since November 2017, with support from Cork City Council we have provided an extra 15 places every night in our Day Centre. These places are basic; mattresses and sleeping bags, but they at least provide respite from the outdoors.

Average length of stay at our Emergency Shelter has increased significantly in the last 5 years. People stayed 63 nights on average in 2018 compared to 39 nights in 2013. People are having to stay longer as they simply have no-where else to go.

36% increase in Long Term Homelessness over 4 years

57 people staying at our Emergency Shelter in 2017 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 36% between 2014 and 2017.

Rents at all time high. Supply at all time low.

According to Daft.ie’s latest rental report (Q4 2018), asking rents in Cork City increased 11.4% from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018, exceeding the national average increase of 9.8%. Average asking rent during Q4 2018 in Cork City was €1,314 per month – the highest on record.

While rental stock nationally increased modestly, the report noted little change in Cork. 670 homes were available to rent in Munster on February 1st 2019 – a figure largely unchanged from the same date in 2018.

The Simon Communities in Ireland’s most recent Locked Out of the Market report found that over 3 consecutive days in November 2018 there was an average of just 28 properties available to rent in Cork City Centre.

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 asking rent for a 1 bed property in Cork city is 120% higher than the Rent Allowance / HAP limit for a single person.

Tracking daft.ie over 3 consecutive days at the end of January 2019, there were no one-bed properties available to rent in Cork City within the Rent Supplment / HAP limit for a single person.

Neither were there any one-bed properties available to rent within RS/HAP limits in Cork city suburbs or commuter towns. Throughout all of Cork city and county there was only 1 one-bed property available to rent within the limit. It was located outside Skibbereen in West Cork – 90km from Cork city.

“And even with the rent allowance, it makes no difference to me. It’s no benefit.”.

Read more HOME TRUTHS

Average asking rent for a two bed property in Cork city is 50% higher than the Rent Allowance / HAP limit for a couple / single parent and two children.

Tracking daft.ie over three consecutive days at the end of January 2019, there were no properties available in Cork city within this Rent Supplement / HAP limit.

Neither were there any two bed properties available to rent in Cork city suburbs within the limit. 2 two bed properties were available to rent in Cork commuter towns, 2 in East Cork and 15 in West Cork. The suitability of these 2 bed properties for a family with two children is questionable however.

Renters at High Risk of Poverty

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. It found however that 61% of people in rental accommodation are at risk of poverty.

27% of people seeking support at our Soup Run live in private rented accommodation, indicating this poverty trap – when rent and bills are paid, there is little left for food.

House Prices in Cork are unaffordable

According to Daft.ie’s Irish House Price Report Q4 2018, house prices in Cork City and County increased 5.8% and 6.3% respectively during 2018. These increases follow year on year rises since the end of 2013.

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.

More people in employment in need of social housing

The percentage of people in employment and on the Social Housing Waiting List for Cork City has close to trebled since 2013 and now stands at 33%, indicating people’s increasing difficulty in accessing the housing and rental market.

In total, 6,627 households in Cork city and county require social housing – 3,118 households in Cork City and a further 3,509 households in Cork County are registered as in need of social housing.

Source: Summary of Social Housing Assessment Needs 2018

Insufficient building in Cork to meet demand

Cork City Council estimates, based on population growth, that 20,032 housing units are needed between 2011 and 2021. That’s 1,821 per year.

The CSO reports that 263 new dwellings were completed in 2018 – only one seventh of what is needed annually.

Source: CSO

Source: Rebuilding Ireland Status Report Q2 2018

(Social Housing Units include Local Authority new builds, Approved Housing Body new builds and Part V Social & Affordable Housing)

Cork County Council estimates a total of 58,005 new homes are required between 2011 and 2022. That’s 5,273 per year.

The CSO reports that 1,508 new dwellings were completed in 2018 – less than a third of what is needed annually.

Source: CSO

Source: Rebuilding Ireland Status Report Q2 2018

(Social Housing Units include Local Authority new builds, Approved Housing Body new builds and Part V Social & Affordable Housing)

Repair and Lease Scheme holds promise

If just 1.3% of vacant properties in Cork City were ‘repaired and leased’, 57 people – the number of people on average staying each night in our Emergency Shelter – could be housed.

If just 9% of vacant properties in Cork City were ‘repaired and leased’, 401 people – the number of adults in Emergency Accommodation in Cork – could have a home of their own.

* 401 adults were recorded as staying in Emergency Accommodation in Cork during 1 week in February 2019 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.

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