I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 and 259 together.
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 associated services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.
Family hubs offer family living arrangements with a greater level of stability than is possible in hotel accommodation, with the capacity to provide appropriate play-space, cooking and laundry facilities, communal recreation space, while move-on options to long-term independent tenancies are identified and secured.
There are currently 26 hubs operational nationally, offering over 600 units of family accommodation in urban areas. 22 of these are in Dublin, with one each in Cork, Kildare, Limerick and Louth. Further facilities will become operational during the course of 2019, details of which will become available as projects are finalised by housing authorities.
Capital payments amounting to €14.2 million and €48.5 million were made in respect of operational hub facilities in 2017 and 2018. The funding to be provided in 2019 will be dependent on the progress made by local authorities on the development of further family hubs over the rest of the year.
In relation to the operational funding for the family hubs, my Department provides funding to housing authorities on a regional basis towards the operational costs of homeless accommodation and related services. Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of the funding arrangements with my Department. Therefore, the exact amounts spent by housing authorities on homeless services, as well as the types of accommodation and the service providers engaged, are a matter for those authorities. Financial reports from each of the regions, setting out expenditure on homeless services, including family hubs, in each region in 2017, are published on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/node/5498. The equivalent reports for 2018 are currently being prepared by housing authorities.