Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2895, 2896)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

2895. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of families with children experiencing homelessness and being held in hotel rooms, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses by county; the number in this type of emergency accommodation for periods (details supplied), respectively in tabular form; the number of such families that have family support workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32928/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

2896. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of families with children experiencing homelessness in hubs by county; the number in this type of emergency accommodation for periods (details supplied), respectively in tabular form; the number of such families that have family support workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32929/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2895 and 2896 together.

My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of emergency accommodation for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.

It is recognised that hotel accommodation is inappropriate for accommodating homeless families for anything other than a short period of time. Accordingly, the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness includes the objective that hotels will only be used in limited circumstances as emergency accommodation for families. To meet this objective, housing authorities are pursuing the delivery of a range of additional and enhanced family focused facilities, or family hubs, which offer a greater level of stability than is possible in hotels, while move-on options to long-term independent living are identified and secured.

There are now 28 hubs operational nationally, offering almost 660 units of family accommodation in urban areas. 22 of these are in Dublin, with one each in Clare, Cork, Galway, Kildare, Limerick and Louth. Further facilities will become operational during the course of 2019, details of which will become available as projects are finalised.

Hubs by County

Number of Family Units

Clare

13

Cork

19

Dublin

588

Galway

12

Kildare

10

Limerick

10

Louth

7

Total

659

My Department does not collate information regarding the number of hotels, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses that are used as emergency accommodation.

Quarterly performance reports prepared by the local authorities on a regional basis provide information on the duration of time spent by persons in emergency accommodation. The most recently published report is for Quarter 1 2019 and shows that 35% of the adults recorded were in emergency accommodation for less than 6 months, and 65% for more than 6 months. The regional breakdown at the end of Quarter 1 2019 is shown in the table below.

Q1 Duration in Emergency Accommodation - Regional Breakdown

-

< 6 months

> 6 Months

Regional Total

Amount

%

Amount

%

Dublin

1,305

32%

2,791

68%

4,096

Mid-East

158

38%

256

62%

414

Midland

67

57%

51

43%

118

Mid-West

210

43%

273

57%

483

North East

79

26%

223

74%

302

North West

34

52%

31

48%

65

South East

160

36%

289

64%

449

South West

295

55%

241

45%

536

West

171

29%

426

71%

597

Totals

2,479

35%

4,581

65%

7,060

Decisions on the range of emergency accommodation services required are a matter for individual housing authorities in consultation with the statutory Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homelessness Consultative Forum. A Management Group is in place for each homeless region, comprised of representatives from the relevant housing authorities and the Health Service Executive. The Management Group is responsible for considering the need for homeless services and the planning, implementation, funding and co-ordination of such services.

The provision and funding of health and care services to those experiencing homelessness is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Health.