Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (621)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

621. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of plans to put in place one-stop-shop assessment centres with multi-agency participation making the best use of modern technology for families presenting as homeless. [50053/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

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 for the provision of accommodation and related services rests with individual housing authorities. Decisions on the range of accommodation and support services to be provided are a matter for the individual housing authorities in consultation with the statutory Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homelessness Consultative Forum.

Rebuilding Ireland, the Government's Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness includes a range of measures to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness. One measure is to ensure that ‘one-stop-shop’ assessment centres are put in place with multi-agency participation making the best use of modern technology for families presenting as homeless. The objective of such centres is to ensure assessment and supports are provided to families with children presenting as homeless to ensure every effort is made to keep them in their current homes or to ensure appropriate homeless and other support services are provided.

In Dublin, where the issue of homelessness is most pronounced, a ‘one-stop-shop’ assessment centre is in place for families presenting as homeless. The centre is led by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) and has multi-agency participation including the four Dublin housing authorities, Tusla, the Family Mediation Services, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Justice and Equality, tenancy protection services and expert NGOs. The services concerned work together to assess and support families with children presenting as homeless, to ensure every effort is made to keep them in their current homes or to ensure appropriate homeless and other support services are provided. In addition, Housing Support Officers, working out of the centre, are assigned to individual families in emergency accommodation, to assist and support families to move on to long-term tenancies. Similar assessment and support services are also in place across all housing authorities and local authorities work closely with other Government Departments and Agencies to ensure that the households and families experiencing homelessness receive the supports that they require.