During 2018, I received reports from the Homelessness Inter-Agency Group and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) that identified the challenges of non-Irish nationals presenting to homeless services. The report of the Inter-Agency group recommended the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government should develop an agreed policy, including a communications protocol, on the services to be provided to individuals who may have no rights to reside in the State. It also recommended that a communications protocol should be put in place between the Department of Justice and Equality and the local authorities in relation to potential housing demands arising from family reunification applications being processed by that Department.
As part of the implementation of these recommendations, the Department of Justice and Equality will locate a staff member in the DRHE on a pilot basis to assist with evaluating the immigration status of persons presenting to homeless services. It should be noted that many non-Irish nationals presenting to homeless services will be entitled to housing supports and improved communications will reduce the time frequently involved in clarifying the entitlement of these individuals.