Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (693)

Bernard Durkan


693. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the degree to which he and his Department are in a position to monitor the number of families or persons becoming homeless or at risk thereof in all areas across the country; the specific measures he plans to deal with this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37737/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department publishes a monthly report on homelessness. The monthly report is based on data provided by housing authorities and produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS).  The most recently published report, in respect of July 2019, shows that there were a total of 10,275 individuals in emergency accommodation, including 6,497 adults and 3,778 dependants (including 1,721 families).

Supporting individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness is a priority for the Government and for my Department in particular. Rebuilding Ireland, the Government’s Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness, includes a range of measures that are designed to address homelessness. In 2019, the Government increased the budget available to local authorities to deliver homeless services by over 25% to €146m. This funding supports the delivery of services to prevent families having to enter emergency accommodation and to ensure that those families in emergency accommodation are supported to identify and secure an independent tenancy within the shortest possible timeframe.   

Rebuilding Ireland is delivering results in supporting exits from homelessness. In 2018, 5,135 adults and their associated dependants exited homelessness into independent tenancies, an increase of over 8% on 2017.  In the first six months of 2019 2,825 adults and their dependants exited homelessness, which was a 21% increase on the numbers recorded during the corresponding period in 2018. 

I and my Department will continue to work proactively in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that homelessness is prevented as far as possible and to ensure that sustainable housing supports are provided for those individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness.