Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (524)

Finian McGrath

Question:

524. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will support young persons trapped in homeless accommodation as a matter of priority. [31976/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I recently published a Homelessness Policy Statement in which I outlined the Government's aim to end long-term homelessness by the end of 2016. The statement emphasises a housing-led approach which is about accessing permanent housing as the primary response to all forms of homelessness. The availability and supply of secure, affordable and adequate housing is essential in ensuring sustainable tenancies and ending long-term homelessness.

When I published the statement I announced a set of indicators which will be used to demonstrate the dynamics of homelessness as it is addressed. These indicators will give a clearer picture of homelessness in Ireland and, in quantifying its on-going extent, will support the bringing forward of realistic and practical solutions.

While it is clear that a proportion of funding must be used to provide sufficient bed capacity to accommodate those in need of emergency accommodation, it is equally important that resources are channelled to deliver more permanent responses in a more focused and strategic way. The arrangements for devolving homelessness funding to the lead housing authority in each of the 9 regions in 2013 seek to ensure that the measures being pursued by housing authorities reflect the housing-led approach, that actions are in place towards achieving the target of ending long-term homelessness by the end of 2016 and that evidence to support progress will be presented through the reports on the indicators.

While I acknowledge that the approach to all forms of homelessness, including child, youth and adult homelessness should be fully integrated, my colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is currently overseeing a review of the Youth Homelessness Strategy.