Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities. This responsibility of housing authorities includes responsibility for ensuring that contracted services are delivered in a professional manner, in line with any service level agreement that is in place.
Supporting individuals and families experiencing homelessness is a priority for the Government. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has developed a National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) on behalf of my Department. The Framework has been developed to ensure a more consistent approach in how local authorities and service providers respond to the needs of those experiencing homelessness. The Framework was implemented on a phased basis in the Dublin region, with site visits commencing in February. The experience gained from the recent completion of the roll-out in the Dublin region and the commencement of site visits has allowed the DRHE to evaluate how the Framework should be implemented nationally and to advise my Department accordingly.
Last month, my Department wrote to local authorities, instructing them on the process for the implementation of the Framework, which is to be implemented on a nationwide basis over a 12-month period commencing on 1 July 2019. Upon completion of the implementation phase, local authorities will commence site visits to ensure compliance with the Framework. Management of these site visits will be a matter for local authorities. While I have no plans at present to introduce an alternative inspection regime, the implementation of the Framework will be kept under ongoing review..