Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (125)

Holly Cairns

Question:

125. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his attention has been drawn to the fact that 39 homeless persons have died in Dublin to date in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26223/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I am aware that that there have been a number of deaths of individuals accessing homeless services this year and I would take the opportunity to offer my condolences to the family and friends of those individuals. However, my Department does not hold specific details in this regard.

Supporting households experiencing homelessness is a priority for this Government and the Programme for Government recognises that many households experiencing homelessness have additional support needs. In this regard it includes specific commitments to address these needs, including measures to help rough sleepers into sustainable accommodation, the continued expansion of Housing First, with a focus on the construction and acquisition of one-bed homes, and, importantly, ensuring that necessary health and mental health supports are provided to assist homeless people with complex needs.

Ultimately the key to resolving homelessness is to increase the supply of housing, particularly for those on the lowest incomes. To this end, the Programme for Government commits to the increased supply of public, social and affordable homes. In particular, we will increase the social housing stock by more than 50,000 with an emphasis on new builds.

I have also established a High Level Homelessness Taskforce, to provide a forum for engagement with key organisations working to address homelessness. The Taskforce will input on the implementation of the commitments on homelessness in the Programme for Government.