Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (285)

Thomas Pringle


285. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in the international protection process that are housed in emergency accommodation; the number that are children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39799/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department is responsible for offering accommodation and related services to international protection applicants while their claim for protection is being examined. Due to an unexpected rise in applications (+36% in the first six months of the year), the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS, formerly the Reception and Integration Agency), of my Department is experiencing significant upward pressure on its accommodation portfolio.  

As of 22 September 2019, there are 1,379 applicants residing in 34 emergency accommodation locations in hotels and guest houses. 278 of these applicants are children. As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department does not disclose the specific location of any emergency accommodation centres in order to protect the identity of international protection applicants.

Every effort is being made to re-accommodate applicants in emergency locations to a dedicated accommodation centre as quickly as possible where we can provide the full range of State services and supports. 

IPAS is actively working on securing additional capacity, both in its existing centres and through sourcing new centres via a series of regional procurement competitions and advertised expressions of interest for accommodation provision. .