Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Questions (291)

John Lahart

Question:

291. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of children and families in hotel accommodation and family hubs; and the prospects of secure housing for these persons. [9557/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department publishes a detailed monthly report on homelessness, based on data provided by housing authorities. The Report outlines details of individuals utilising State-funded emergency accommodation arrangements that are overseen by housing authorities. Data relating to homeless families and their dependants are presented at a regional level. The Reports are available to access on my Department's website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/collection/80ea8-homelessness-data/.

The most recently published report, in respect of December 2020, confirmed that there were 970 families in emergency accommodation during the survey week. This represents a 37% reduction on the position one year previously and is the lowest number of families in emergency accommodation since March 2016.

For families experiencing homelessness, family hubs offer a greater degree of stability than is possible in hotels with access to more appropriate living, storage, cooking and play areas for families. There are currently 35 operational family hubs nationally, offering more than 760 units of family accommodation in key urban housing authorities.

Increasing the supply of housing, particularly new build social and affordable homes, is a key priority of this Government. The Programme for Government commits to increasing the social housing stock by more than 50,000, with an emphasis on new builds. In Budget 2021, we backed this objective with funding of €3.3 billion for the delivery of housing. Subject to the impact of the Covid related restrictions on the construction sector, the available funding will deliver 12,750 new social homes through build, acquisition and leasing. A major focus of this investment is the delivery of new build, with an overall target of 9,500 new homes.