Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (150)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

150. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of refugees staying in a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40748/19]

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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. These services are demand led and generally it is difficult to predict demand far in advance.

I am advised that as of 29 September 2019, 7,462 persons were being provided with accommodation by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) of my Department, formerly the Reception and Integration Agency. I can inform you there are currently 123 persons residing in the accommodation centre that the Deputy enquired about.

Currently, there are 6,063 persons residing in the 38 accommodation centres located nationwide across 18 counties. As these centres are at full capacity, there are also a further 1,399 applicants residing in 34 emergency accommodation locations in hotels and guest houses.

As places become available in a dedicated accommodation centre they are offered to protection applicants accommodated in the emergency accommodation. Every effort is made to re-accommodate applicants in emergency locations to a dedicated accommodation centre as quickly as possible and my Department is actively working on securing additional capacity, both in its existing centres and through sourcing new accommodation centres.

IPAS has sought expressions of interest from parties who would be interested in providing accommodation and related services to people in the international protection process and has also launched a nationwide, regional tendering process to source new accommodation centres.