Shocked but not surprised: Reaction to the IHREC / ESRI study on Adequate Housing

Press statement

Tuesday 14, 2021

One Family – Ireland’s national organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating have reacted to today’s Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission/ERSI report on adequate housing by saying they are shocked but not surprised by findings that less than 25 per cent of lone parents reported home-ownership, compared with 70 per cent of total population. The report also found that lone parents had higher rates of affordability issues (19 per cent) when compared to the general population (5 per cent) and were particularly vulnerable to housing quality problems such as damp and lack of central heating (32 per cent compared to 22 per cent of total population).

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, said “Unfortunately we are not surprised by the findings of today’s report. Through our services we are hearing reports daily of parents living in substandard accommodation, being blocked from work due to HAP restrictions and waiting months on emergency accommodation. We are calling on the Government to urgently develop a family homelessness strategy, which includes targeted measures for one-parent families. We were disappointed that no provision for such a strategy was made in the Government’s Housing For All Strategy; this was a missed opportunity. What this report makes clears is Government must act now to protect children in one-parent families. Yet again we are asking them to use the evidence in-front of them.

We agree with the UN Rapporteur Balakrishnan Rajagopal that the treatment of one-parent families in Ireland raises serious questions for the Irish Government and that they must act now. Thousands of children are spending their childhoods growing up in emergency accommodation – most of them living with one parent. We don’t want this to be the Mother& Baby Home scandal of the future – we must prioritise those most in need for housing and the Government must act now as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing has said.”


For Editors:

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting or separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services.

Available for Interview:

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Niamh Kelly, Policy Manager | t: 01 662 9212

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 01 622 9212 or 085 724 1294