Councils spend €35m more than estimated on homelessness

Councils Spend €35M More Than Estimated On Homelessness
In Dublin City Council, more than €20 million was spent on hotels and B&Bs than initially provided for. Photo: PA
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By Cillian Sherlock, PA

Local authorities spent €35 million more than expected on homeless services last year, according to the latest figures.

The Department of Housing released the end-of-year data for nine regions on Friday.


The figures show how local authorities spent on resettlement supports, homeless prevention, emergency accommodation and other services.

Across the country, total expenditure was €35,320,196 higher than the initial estimates for the year.

Most of the significant overspend related to emergency accommodation in the form of B&Bs, primarily concentrated in Dublin.

In Dublin City Council, more than €20 million was spent on hotels and B&Bs than initially provided for, while approximately €9 million was spent on other private emergency accommodation for single people experiencing homelessness.


Cork City Council spent almost €2.6 million more than estimated on B&Bs across the year.

Similarly, Louth County Council had an additional spend of almost €1.2 million on such accommodation.

In the midlands, there was a €1.5 million overspend on B&Bs in Offaly, Longford, Laois and Westmeath.

The overall figures also provide a column for revised estimates, but this was not applicable for many regions.


In the South West, the initial estimate was approximately €21.4 million but revised down to €18.9 million.

The true expenditure in the region was more than €24.1 million.

Across the nine regions, the local authorities had estimated to spend €305,511,191 but by the end of 2023, had paid out €340,831,387.

Each local authority is able to recoup up to 90 per cent of what it spends on households experiencing homelessness from the Department of Housing.


There were 13,866 people accessing emergency accommodation nationwide, according to the latest data available – which is for the final week in March.

This breaks down to 9,719 adults and 4,147 child dependents.

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