€276m bill for emergency homeless accomm in last 4 years


On the Pat Kenny Show now on Newstalk, Pat is talking to Fr McVerry about the cost of emergency homeless accommodation. The State has handed over €276m in the past 4 years to hotels, hostels and BnB’s for emergency accommodation.

This does not include the costs of HAP and other rental assistance handouts.


If you had €276m, you could buy 55,200 used mobile homes at a average price of €5000 and I’m sure on volume you could drive a hard bargain! :wink:

That could easily house about 165,000 people if 3 people per mobile home. Own toilet. Cooking facilities. Great outdoors, wha’t not to like? YOu’d probably get a specula welfare subvention to keep you in cover.

So say bulk buy, that’s 110,400 mobile homes at €2500 a pop, 3 peeps per tin can, 331,200 - push the edge of human living conditions and ramp that up to 4.5 peeps per box, you’d house about 496,800 souls overnight and need to order a new sign that read - Mosneyopolis One.

'Course the way this would work in Ireland is used mobile homes would suddenly be worth about quarter of a million each, maybe a tribunal after 20 years, a bailout and… well, I digress…

Q: how many people have been accommodated with this €276m over the 4 years, to get a cost per person type figure like, any ideas?


Just found the story Pat Kenny was referring to…it’s not on the front page online surprisingly (or perhaps not!)

Lets take an average of 10,000 in emergency accomm per year based on what I can remember from the news reports.
That works out at an average of €6,900 per person per year.

Of course, that’s a very rough calculation


So in my example above based on your numbers. I have saved the taxpayer a notional €6067 per person per year, and demonstrated how to house not 40,000 people but almost half a million for the same expenditure - tbh, I’d rather take the total saving of about €242 million.

There is also another approach, that might work most effectively when in combination with a newer approach to emergency accommodation as above, i.e. a positive feedback loop that occurs when moves to make cost savings perpetually creating even more cost savings.

Using what I assume existing legal mechanisms. I wonder can anyone guess what they might be… :whistle:


What do we know about revenue to the McVerry Trust? The trust seems to be very well supported, how much has it received in recent years and how much has been spent by it on emergency accommodation?



The Jesuits are the original “social justice warriors”. I spoke to one of them in the Jesuit community on Gardiner Street a few years back and he said that in the 1970s they were encouraged to doff the priestly garb and go out to actually live among those needing help, which some of them did in Sean McDermott Street etc. He reckoned they had a decidedly Socialist ethos at the time.


The “Peter McVerry Trust” was previously called the “Arrupe Society”, after Pedro Arrupe SJ, the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Very investing life story. Survived the Hiroshima bomb.

AFAIK, the mission of the Peter McVerry Trust to address the causes of homelessness.
A complex topic.