Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (261)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

261. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number, location, capacity and occupancy of all temporary direct provision centres; the details of the contracts in place; if he is satisfied that adequate facilities are provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25268/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Since September 2018, due to insufficient capacity within the Reception and Integration Agency's (RIA) accommodation portfolio, RIA has contracted for the use of emergency accommodation in hotels and guest houses.

Due to commercial sensitivities with suppliers, many of which are operating as hotels and guest houses concurrently with accommodating applicants for international protection, and also to protect the identity of applicants in emergency accommodation, the name and exact location of the premises being used are not made public.

The following table includes a breakdown by county of premises being used as emergency accommodation and the numbers accommodated there as at the 9th June 2019.

County

No. of Hotels/Guest houses

Number of Applicants Accommodated

Cavan

1

41

Clare

1

19

Dublin

7

297

Meath

2

47

Monaghan

5

133

Laois

2

63

Offaly

1

17

Louth

2

23

Tipperary

1

17

Wicklow

2

78

Wexford

1

42

Total

25

777

Emergency accommodation is contracted on a short-term basis for up to 6 months. In the interim, RIA is seeking to find additional capacity within its portfolio by providing supports through DePaul Ireland, The Peter McVerry Trust, The Jesuit Refugee Service and South Dublin County Partnership to assist those residents who have status or permission to remain to secure accommodation in the community, In addition, RIA is engaged in a regional public procurement process to identify additional accommodation centres.

It should be noted that the emergency accommodation being utilised are not accommodation centres under the Direct Provision system. The Department is using commercial hotels and guest houses as a temporary measure while seeking to acquire sufficient capacity within RIA's accommodation portfolio in order to meet the State's obligations to persons seeking international protection.

RIA staff carry out information clinics at the temporary accommodation with residents and meetings between both the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children and residents have been facilitated.

In addition, RIA is seeking to contract in a Visiting Support and Cultural Liaison Service from the NGO community by the end of this month to assist those residents during their time in the emergency accommodation.