My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves 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 related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities. This includes operational issues such as ensuring that contracted services are delivered in a professional manner, that inspections take place and that homeless families/individuals can report issues to the relevant authority.
In this regard, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has been overseeing the development of a quality standards framework, coordinating this work in consultation with an advisory group, which includes representation from various housing authorities, service providers, Tusla, clients and other stakeholders, with a view to having the finalised standards adopted on a national basis by individual housing authorities. The draft standards have been piloted in a number of selected services across the country and positive feedback has been received.
I understand that the DRHE is preparing a final draft quality standards framework for formal submission to my Department. On receipt of this, along with any recommendations with regard to implementation from the DRHE and the advisory group, I will give consideration to how such standards could be applied on a national basis by housing authorities.