Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Questions (1213)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1213. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of front-line workers who are applicants for international protection who are in accommodation provided by the HSE in Galway city and county; if issues have been raised with the HSE regarding the suitability of the accommodation; if these issues have been addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38880/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department does not hold the information as requested by the Deputy.

As the Deputy will be aware the State has a legal obligation to provide accommodation and other support services for international protection applicants. The International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) of my Department currently meets this obligation through the Direct Provision system. The system is completely voluntary and people can choose not to accept it or to leave the accommodation placement at any time. As such, front line workers who are also International Protection applicants and who are availing of the HSE scheme, may not have been living in IPAS accommodation previously.

The temporary accommodation scheme for front line workers is operated by the HSE and all queries pertaining to such are entirely a matter for the HSE.

If any protection applicant wishes to leave HSE allocated accommodation, they may contact IPAS via the helpline: ipasinbox@equality.gov.ie. IPAS will arrange for accommodation to be provided in an IPAS accommodation centre.  Protection applicants may have to accept that they may be initially accommodated in a temporary accommodation location until their needs are assessed and more suitable accommodation is found within the IPAS portfolio. In relation to Covid-19 guidelines, protection applicants will not be re-accommodated in a centre with an active Covid-19 outbreak.