Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (88)

Mick Barry

Question:

88. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress being made in Cork city in accommodating 55 Traveller persons in emergency accommodation arising from the damage done to their dwellings during Storm Ophelia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4555/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and also have responsibility for the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas.  My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authorities in providing such accommodation, including a national framework of policy, legislation and funding. 

In relation to any damage arising from events such as storm Ophelia, it is a matter for each housing authority to assess any damage caused to Traveller-specific accommodation in their area. As part of the capital funding supports provided by my Department, funding of 50% is provided to housing authorities for the purchase of  emergency replacement mobiles. An emergency in this respect is an unanticipated event, such as storm damage, that would render a caravan/mobile uninhabitable or dangerous to live in.  This scheme relates to authorised local authority sites only. Any request from housing authorities for such funding is considered promptly by my Department. 

I can confirm that funding for 19 mobiles was provided by my Department to Cork City Council in December 2017.  Cork City Council has informed my Department that the replacement of additional units is now also being considered. Any further requests for funding of additional units will, of course, be considered by my Department.