Understanding Homelessness in Ireland

Who is homeless?

When we think of homeless people, we often think of people sleeping rough. However, people are also considered to be homeless if they do not have secure accommodation or if their housing is inadequate. For example, people who are living in Emergency Accommodationdo not enjoy the right to housing.

In Ireland, the Housing Act 1988 provided the first legal definition of homelessness. It was introduced following intensive lobbying by voluntary organisations.

Section 2 states that a person should be considered to be homeless if:

(a) there is no accommodation available which, in the opinion of the authority, he, together with any other person who normally resides with him or who might reasonably be expected to reside with him, can reasonably occupy or remain in occupation of , or

(b) he is living in a hospital, county home, night shelter or other such institution, and is so living because he has no accommodation of the kind referred to in paragraph (a), and

(c) he cannot provide accommodation from his own resources