Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (105)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

105. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of homeless services for local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7557/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Increasing the supply of housing, particularly new build social and affordable homes, is a priority for me and for this Government. This is a key element in addressing homelessness. The Programme for Government commits to increasing the social housing stock by more than 50,000, with an emphasis on new builds. Budget 2021 provided €3.3 billion for the delivery of housing which will allow for the delivery of 12,750 new social homes through build, acquisition and leasing. A major focus of this investment is the delivery of new builds, with an overall target of 9,500 new homes.

In respect of homeless services my Department’s role is to ensure 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 in relation to the provision of accommodation and associated services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.

My Department does not fund any homeless services, initiatives or schemes directly but provides funding to housing authorities towards theses costs under section 10 of the Housing Act, 1988. Funding provided goes towards a range of services and initiatives including funding towards the operational costs of homeless accommodation and initiatives such as outreach, tenancy sustainment services and Housing First services. Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of these funding arrangements with my Department. In light of the foregoing, the exact amounts spent by housing authorities, as well as the type and operation of homeless accommodation and related services is a matter for the individual housing authority, in consultation with the Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homeless Consultative Forum established in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.

Exchequer funding for homeless services is provided through my Department to housing authorities on a regional basis. Exchequer funding provided on a regional basis for the years 2018 to 2020 is set out below:

Region

2018

2019

2020

Dublin

106,267,186

120,699,125

217,535,361

Mid-East

3,738,000

5,525,000

8,500,368

Midland

2,177,128

2,814,500

2,531,226

Mid-West

5,044,000

7,559,100

9,188,376

North-East

3,007,520

3,685,000

2,935,081

North-West

541,522

672,700

812,285

South-East

3,815,000

4,550,200

3,890,373

South-West

9,687,741

12,048,100

16,247,187

West

4,721,894

7,466,200

9,259,668

Totals

138,999,993

164,999,925

270,899,925

The outturn for 2020 includes contributions from my Department towards housing authority expenditure in relation to Covid-19 measures. New facilities were opened to ensure the number of residents in existing accommodation could be reduced to meet the necessary public health guidelines and to keep people safe. Shielding has been provided for those homeless persons most at risk of becoming seriously ill and additional accommodation has also been put in place to allow for the self-isolation of any confirmed or suspected case of infection. Costs have also been incurred on the provision of 24hr services in facilities, including food costs.

Financial reports from each of the homeless regions setting out expenditure on homeless accommodation and related services are published on my Department's website at https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data. Financial reports for 2020 are currently being examined and will be published shortly.

My Department also supports local authorities with capital funding to deliver emergency accommodation, including family hubs. Capital funding provided by my Department from 2018 to 2020 is set out below.

Year

Expenditure

2018

€48.547m

2019

€9.256m

2020

€0.378m