Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Question 102 – Mortality rates [6822/24].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Question 102 – Mortality rates [6822/24]. (15 Feb 2024)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2024...

102. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his Department’s response to the recent Health Research Board’s report into mortality among single homeless people. [6822/24]

Darragh O'Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage: On 16 January 2023, the Health Research Board published its report on deaths among people who were homeless based on 2020 data. The research applied the methodology used to compile the National Drug Related Deaths Index, which is a census of drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent in Ireland. The study was commissioned by the Department of Health in order to improve understanding of premature mortality among people who are homeless and to inform healthcare policy and services for this vulnerable cohort. The study is the second time this data has been published, the first report was published last year based on 2019 data.

The report found that a total of 121 deaths, that were sudden and unexpected, occurred nationally in 2020 in people who were homeless at the time of their death. This is an increase on the (revised) figure of 92 deaths reported in 2019. 48% died in emergency accommodation and 36% in a public space, public building or derelict building. Of those who died, 91% had a history of substance use or dependency.

I extend my sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased and also acknowledge the important work carried out by those on the frontline.

Housing for All commits Government to work towards ending homelessness by 2030. The Plan contains a number of actions to address homelessness including actions which support the health needs of people who are homeless. The Housing First programme is one of the key responses in ending long-term homelessness among those with complex health and mental health needs. It provides the most vulnerable of our homeless population with a home for life as well as key wraparound health and social supports. Under the Housing First National Implementation Plan 2022-2026, an additional 1,319 supported tenancies are to be delivered nationally over this period. 560 tenancies have been established under the current National Implementation Plan and 979 individuals are currently in a Housing First tenancy.

My Department is working closely with the Department of Health, the HSE and local authorities to continue to deliver the appropriate measures to support all individuals experiencing homelessness including those with complex needs.

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