Budget 2018 provides for a national Exchequer allocation of €116 million for homeless services, which is an additional €18 million, or 18%, on the Budget 2017 provision.
The purposes for which housing authorities may incur expenditure in addressing homelessness are prescribed in section 10 of the Housing Act 1988. My Department may recoup housing authorities up to 90% of payments reasonably made. Under funding arrangements that are in place between my Department and housing authorities, exchequer funding is provided on a regional basis, whereby payments are made to a designated lead-authority which is responsible for the disbursement of this exchequer funding, within the region. Housing authorities are currently in the process of submitting estimated 2018 expenditure programmes, which my Department will consider before notifying lead-authorities of delegated regional allocations.
As in previous years, the 2018 delegated regional funding allocations will be made primarily in respect of scheduled services, i.e. those where a service level agreement is in place between the authority and the service provider. Given the demand-led nature of homelessness and the increased rates of homeless presentation in recent times, it is recognised that it is not possible for authorities to be fully accurate in relation to forecast expenditure and additional expenditure may also arise outside of the provisions of the delegated funding allocations. Accordingly, this year, as in previous years, my Department has provided reassurance that all expenditure reasonably incurred will be considered for recoupment.