Preparations are well underway on a procurement process to secure own-door and own-room accommodation for residents in our international protection accommodation services. This process will increase the proportion of own-door units available for residents during the transitional period between the current system and the planned move to a new model as set out in the White Paper to End Direct Provision and to Establish a New International Protection Support System.
As stated in the White Paper, it is the intention of my Department to have the new supports and accommodation system operational by December 2024. This is an ambitious target, but I believe that it is achievable. In practice it will mean that accommodation for international applicants after four months will be either own door accommodation for families or own room accommodation for single people.
In terms of immediate progress on the provision of accommodation in line with the principles of the White paper, I note that my Department’s international protection accommodation service opened an own door accommodation complex in Letterkenny last January, with 60 apartments catering for 236 people. I will respond to the Deputy with further information to this effect in due course.
Looking ahead, I am committed to implementing the White Paper in a co-ordinated, well-planned way. My Department has a Transition Team which is working on all of the arrangements for moving to the new system, and there is a Programme Board that oversees the process.
The Board has already met four times and will meet again on 16 December. Implementation will be a challenging task, but it is one that I will work hard on with my Department and other key agencies to achieve.