Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (556)

Johnny Mythen


556. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the start and end date of the contracts for direct provision in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6945/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

There is currently one designated accommodation centre in Co. Wexford (Rosslare) and one premises being used as emergency accommodation (Courtown).

The accommodation centre in Rosslare was identified through a call for expressions of interest and contracted for an initial period of one year up to the 25th February 2021. My Department is currently examining our capacity to meet the demand for accommodation from persons seeking international protection and any decision to extend the contractual arrangement will be based on that assessment.

The International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) of my Department has also been using a number of hotels and guesthouses since September 2018 as emergency accommodation centres due to insufficient capacity to meet demand from within its accommodation portfolio.

These centres are contracted on a bed and full board basis on short term rolling contracts of 3 or 6 month duration. There is currently one such centre being used as emergency accommodation in Courtown, Co. Wexford and this is currently under contract until April 2021. Any decision to continue to use this accommodation after that date will be informed by my Department’s ability to meet the demand for accommodation from within its accommodation portfolio.

The emergency centres are prioritised for closure when demand pressures allow. As an instance of this policy, my Department had been using a second premises in Courtown up until November 2020 but was able to cease this arrangement due to identifying capacity elsewhere in its portfolio.