Cork may face unprecedented homeless numbers when the national eviction ban ends this month.

New figures bring ‘fresh wave of fear’

A Cork TD has slammed the Government following the publication of new figures showing record numbers of homeless people in Cork.

Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, said the latest figures published by the Department of Housing suggest the Government has “sat on their hands” rather than helping people to find accommodation.

The new figures show the number of adults in emergency accommodation in Cork rose from 503 in December to 529 in January.

The report also shows an increase of 16% to the number of adults in emergency accommodation compared to January 2022.

Deputy Gould said it is “deeply concerning” to see such an increase in homelessness in the middle of an eviction ban which is currently set to expire at the end of this month.

“I am getting more worried by the day that, come June, we will be facing a crisis in emergency accommodation in Cork like we have never seen before,” said Mr Gould.

“Today’s figures will bring a fresh wave of fear for families and individuals facing homelessness when the eviction ban lifts. There is now no excuse.

“The Government must give these people certainty and extend the ban,” he added.

Last month, Cork city councillors called for a local eviction ban to be established in an effort to protect renters who are in fear of being evicted and faced with soaring rents in the city centre.

“26 people lost their home in January in Cork. This is on top of already record high homeless figures nationally,” continued the Sinn Féin TD.

“This is shameful. The eviction ban must be extended until the end of the year and that time must be used to introduce emergency measures. It’s time for change,” he concluded.

In a statement issued by Cork Simon Community, the homeless charity said its emergency shelter saw a record average of 79 people per night in January – a figure that has been steadily increasing since last summer.

The Cork Simon statement said: “Our emergency shelter is packed to the rafters – every spare floorspace is in use. Our outreach team has been meeting increasing numbers of people sleeping rough, presenting to our day service and depending on our soup run.

“The charity also called for the national eviction ban to be extended and said that not doing so will put a significant number of already vulnerable individuals and families at further risk,” the statement added.