Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities. This responsibility of housing authorities includes responsibility for ensuring that contracted services are delivered in a professional manner, in line with any service level agreement that is in place. In that regard, housing authorities carry out inspections as they determine to be appropriate.
Supporting individuals and families experiencing homelessness is a priority for this Government. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has developed a National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) on behalf of my Department. The NQSF has been developed to ensure a more consistent approach on how local authorities and service providers respond to the needs of those experiencing homelessness. The NQSF was implemented on a phased basis in the Dublin region, with site visits commencing in February this year. The experience gained from the recent completion of the rollout in the Dublin region and the commencement of site visits has allowed the DRHE to evaluate how the NQSF should be implemented nationally and to advise my Department accordingly.
Later this week, my Department will be writing to each of the lead local authorities, responsible for the coordination of the delivery of homeless services at the regional level, advising them on the process for the implementation of the NQSF. In light of the experience in the Dublin region, it is proposed that the NQSF will be implemented over a 12-month period commencing on 1 July 2019.