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Threshold highlights women and homelessness

  • 08/01/2018
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Housing charity chairwoman's letter to Irish Times stresses women's struggles to keep roof over families' heads

Mother and baby sitting on bench

Aideen Hayden, Chairwoman of Threshold - the national housing charity - has written to the Irish Times highlighting the particular struggles of homeless women to keep a roof over their families' head.

She refers to the old Irish tradition of Nollaig na mBan, celebrated on January 6th each year, when women got together for a much-needed rest after the stress of the Christmas season. "For some women," she says, "many of whom are mothers of the 3,333 children in emergency accommodation across the country, there is no respite. Every moment of every day is focused on finding a place they can call home, which is safe, secure, affordable and appropriate to their needs."

"Women" she goes on to say, "make up a far higher percentage of the homeless population in Ireland compared to other European countries, with 42 per cent of people who are homeless in Ireland being women, rising to 47 per cent in Dublin. Of the households that we work with, 44 per cent are headed by lone parents, most of whom are women. Many are young (in their 20s or 30s), with one or two children and are parenting alone; a majority became homeless following the loss of private rented housing.

"The struggle to keep a roof over a family is greater for women, given that on average, women are paid 14 per cent less than men and pay differences are widening."

Threshold is calling for greater efforts need to be made in keeping women and their families in their homes. "We cannot let another year go by," she states, "without addressing the reality that the most vulnerable people are housed, and will continue to be housed for the foreseeable future, in a rental sector that is not fit for purpose."

Source: Irish Times letter: Women and homelessness (6 January 2018)

Do you need help?

You can use the Turn2us Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your background, circumstances and needs.

The following organisations may be able to give you further advice:

Money Advice and Budgeting Service which can advise on debt, including housing, and has information sheets on its website.

Homelessness charities: Threshold, Simon Communities of Ireland and Focus Ireland

Single parent families: One Family Ireland

You may also find it helpful to look at the Citizens Ireland information on housing



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