This presentation will discuss an article analysising data on the use of emergency accommodation (EA) by single homeless people in Dublin, Ireland between 2016 and 2018. The objective of the article which will be presented is to reflect on, test and critique the use of administrative data in research on homelessness heretofore in Ireland and internationally. The article focuses on Culhane, Kuhn and colleagues' ground-breaking analysis of data on single adult users of homeless shelters. Their typology focuses on ‘homelessness episodes’, which may disguise important patterns in EA usage and lead to the mis-categorisation of some shelter residents. As an alternative, the analysis of EA usage in Dublin presented in this article focuses on transitions into and out of EA and the stability of EA usage between these transitions. This design is grounded in strong research evidence which indicates that stability of EA usage is a critical consideration in terms of successful exit from homelessness. Applying this design to our dataset on EA usage in Dublin between 2016 and 2018 reveals four clear EA usage patterns – short stay, medium stay, long stay inconsistent and long stay stable.
Clíodhna Bairéad is a social researcher who examines social policy and administrative data for homelessness and social housing. She holds a BA in Public and Social Policy from NUI Galway as well as a Masters of Public Policy and PhD in Social Policy from University College Dublin. Her doctoral thesis was funded by the IRC in partnership with Focus Ireland and her current post-doctoral research is funded by the IRC in partnership with the Housing Agency.