As part of its ongoing work to highlight Traveller homelessness, Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre published an advocacy paper to highlight the issue of Traveller homelessness and to inform the development of strategic and advocacy actions which are required to address this urgent issue.
Data from Census 2016 reports that 39% of Travellers are living in severely overcrowded conditions, our advocacy paper and Pavee Point commissioned research confirms that this is effectively ‘hidden homelessness’. This is compared to 6% of the general population.
“Targeting Traveller homelessness must be part of mainstream housing and homeless strategies,” says Martin Collins, Co Director, Pavee Point. “We also need to have data on ethnicity in our housing and homeless data collection systems so we can see where services for Travellers need to be improved.
“Traveller homelessness exists in every county we are calling on the Housing Minister, Darragh O Brien, TD to appoint a High-Level National Accommodation Lead for Travellers,” added Mr. Collins.
Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre will continue its lobbying on decent homes for Irish Travellers and will be distributing its advocacy paper among Traveller organisations and other civil society groups and networks.
Homelessness and Traveller Mental Health
Being homeless impacts your physical health and your mental health. Pavee Point worked with SpunOut.ie in 2020 to produce a video that highlights this issue
No More Traveller Evictions
Pavee Point has consistently lobbied for a ban on Traveller evictions. Evictions contribute to hardship and suffering for Traveller families and only serve to perpetuate homelessness.
In June 2015 six international organisations also called for a ban on Traveller evictions and highlighted the human cost of evictions. “Local authorities need to find sustainable solutions to the housing or accommodation problems many Roma and Travellers face, and avoid evictions” the statement said.
Traveller ‘Hidden’ Homelessness at Oireachtas Committee 2016
Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre first brought the issue of Traveller ‘hidden’ homelessness to the attention of the Oireachtas in 2016.
In a presentation to the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness, Pavee Point highlighted terms such as ‘basic service bays’ and ‘unauthorised sites’ represented people living in, often, rat-infested accommodation with little or no access to water and in overcrowded accommodation.
As per Census 2011 figures we estimate that in 2016 – 18% of Travellers were homeless.
The Oireachtas Housing Committee on Housing and Homelessness recommended a ban on Traveller evictions back in 2016. “No Travellers should be evicted from a Traveller specific site until alternative accommodation is provided,” the report said.