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Local Authorities

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Questions (335)

Duncan Smith


335. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the local authorities that have a social inclusion unit or officer; the social inclusion training that is provided by his Department to local authorities to meet the aims and objectives of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29593/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authority for which he or she is responsible.

My Department oversees workforce planning for the local government sector, including the monitoring of local government sector employment levels. To this end, my Department gathers aggregate quarterly data on staff numbers in each local authority on a whole time equivalent basis.

However, granular data, in terms of the detailed breakdown of the local authorities which might have vacancies at these grades is not collected and consequently is not available in my Department. The relevant information would be available from individual local authorities.

The Housing Agency provides training to local authorities to support them in providing housing for people with disabilities under the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability.  Each local authority has a Housing and Disability Steering Group the function of which is to plan for the housing of people with disabilities over a 5 year period within the development planning process. The Groups, which are led by the local authority Director of Housing Services are made up of local authority housing officials, HSE officals and members of disability organisations.  The Housing Agency provides training to these Groups to enable them to understand and fulfil their role under the Strategy.  It also provides training to local authorities in the management of persons with mental health disabilities who are seeking housing supports and has published a manual for use by local authorities.

Age Friendly Ireland, the Shared Service that is tasked with implementing the UN Age Friendly Programme in Ireland, (which my Department funds jointly with the Department of Health) provides training to local authorities in relation to housing for older persons within the context of the Joint Policy Statement Housing Options for our Ageing Population. The training covers many aspects of housing for older people including site selection, optimal design for older persons, assistive technology and crime prevention through environmental design. Each local authority has appointed a ‘technical adviser’ as an Action under the Joint Policy Statement of Housing Options for our Ageing Population. These advisers have undertaken comprehensive training provided by Age Friendly Ireland and are now involved in a wide range of housing activity within local authorities. Their role is to be a resource for older people, for the local authorities, and indeed for anyone who wants to access information about age friendly housing.