Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (73, 74)

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

67 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to recent concerns expressed by such organisations as Focus Ireland and the Simon Community regarding the increasing number of homeless persons; the steps being taken to deal with this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7137/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Arthur Morgan

Question:

68 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the findings of the street count of rough sleepers carried out by the homeless agency in conjunction with the voluntary sector between 12 and 29 January 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7182/04]

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The assessment of homelessness is, in the first instance, a matter for local authorities. The Homeless Agency, in conjunction with the voluntary sector, carried out a street count of rough sleepers in the four Dublin local authority areas that commenced on 12 January and was completed on 29 January 2004. This was part of an overall exercise that included gathering information from a range of statutory and voluntary service providers up to and including 29 February 2004. I understand the data is at present being collated and it is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Question No. 69 answered with QuestionNo. 29.