Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (240)

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

240. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his plans to expand housing first; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2776/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

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 the individuals concerned maintain their tenancies.

The National Implementation Plan for Housing First was published in September 2018. The Plan includes an overall target of 663 tenancies in the period 2018-2021, with annual targets for each local authority. The Plan is a joint initiative of my Department, the Department of Health, the HSE and the local authorities. A copy of the National Implementation Plan is available on my Department's website at the following link:

www.gov.ie/en/publication/b19937-housing-first-national-implementation-plan-2018-2021. Contracts for the delivery of services have been put in place in each of the nine regions responsible for the delivery of homeless services with tenancies now in place in every region.

The regional targets contained in the Plan were agreed by local authorities based on a review of homelessness data and a national survey of the support needs of homeless individuals conducted with service providers. In this regard, it is important to note that the majority of individuals in emergency accommodation do not require the level of supports provided by Housing First.

The Programme for Government commits to an expansion of the Housing First targets. Research is being undertaken by the Housing Agency to carry out an assessment of need for the supports provided by Housing First which is being used to inform the expansion of the Programme. I expect this work to be complete and to be in a position to announce an expansion of the Programme during the first half of 2021.