Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (1158)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1158. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the timeline to reduce and end homelessness here greatly. [45147/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Addressing homelessness is an absolute priority for the Government. Rebuilding Ireland, the Government’s Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness, is designed to significantly increase the supply of social housing by 50,000 homes in the period to 2021, double the output of overall housing to at least 25,000 homes per annum by 2020, support all tenure types (social, private and rental), and tackle homelessness comprehensively. In 2018, 8,000 new social homes were delivered nationally and this year, a further 10,000 new social homes will be delivered.

Budget 2020 has increased funding available to local authorities to provide homeless accommodation and related services to €166m, an increase of €20m on this year’s budget. While the priority is to support families to secure a home, the Government is also committed to ensuring that appropriate emergency accommodation is available until a home can be provided. In this regard, the Government is providing funding to local authorities to develop and operate family hubs. To date, 29 family hubs have been developed nationally, providing almost 680 units of family accommodation.

In addition, the National Implementation Plan for Housing First is being implemented to address the needs of those individuals sleeping rough or long term users of emergency accommodation. Housing First enables homeless individuals with high levels of complex needs to obtain permanent secure accommodation with the provision of intensive housing and health supports to help them maintain their tenancies. The Plan contains targets for each local authority, with an overall national target of 663 tenancies to be delivered by 2021. The implementation of the Plan is a joint initiative of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Department of Health, the HSE and the local authorities.

Rebuilding Ireland is delivering permanent solutions as new homes are delivered and house building is increasing at a significant rate. Under Rebuilding Ireland results are being achieved in supporting exits from homelessness. In 2018, 5,135 adults exited homelessness into homes, an 8.6% increase on 2017. I expect that the numbers of exits from homelessness will increase again in 2019.