Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (573)

John Curran

Ceist:

573. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of persons that have been excluded from the homeless housing list by local authority in tabular form as a result of receiving temporary accommodation in private rented houses using emergency accommodation funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20898/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department currently publishes data on a monthly basis on the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities. These reports are based on data provided by housing authorities, produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS). The reports are collated on a regional basis, are published on my Department's website and can be accessed using the following link:

http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data.

During the compilation of the March Homeless Report, in the course of examining data from local authorities, my Department established that a number of local authorities had miscategorised individuals accommodated in houses and apartments, owned or leased by the local authorities, including in some instances people renting in the private rented sector but in receipt of social housing supports, as being in emergency accommodation. In two of the regions, individuals and families who were being accommodated in private houses/apartments rented by the local authorities were removed from the March report with the agreement of the relevant authorities. Details of the number of individuals in these properties are set out in the following table:

Region/local Authority

Adults

Dependents

Dublin Region Homeless Executive

39

85

North East Region (Louth)

100

111

My priority as Minister is to ensure that families and individuals are moved from emergency accommodation, such as hostels, hotels and family hubs, into housing. I am satisfied that individuals and families who are being accommodated in publicly funded houses or apartments, whether it be social housing or homes leased from the private rented sector, should not be considered as living in emergency accommodation. My Department is continuing to engage with local authorities on this matter.

The issues which have emerged indicate clearly to me that we need improved reporting in this area in order to accurately reflect the numbers of households in emergency accommodation so that we can measure our progress and target our further policies and actions. My Department is examining the current reporting arrangements with a view to ensuring that the best possible data is available to support policy making. No decision has been taken on amending the existing arrangements at this stage.