My Department is responsible for offering accommodation and related services to international protection applicants while their claim for protection is being examined. As of 22 September 2019, 7,393 persons were being provided with accommodation by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS, formerly the Reception and Integration Agency) of my Department.
Currently, there are 6,014 persons residing in the 38 accommodation centres located nationwide across 18 counties. As these centres are at full capacity, there are also a further 1,379 applicants residing in 34 emergency accommodation locations in hotels and guest houses. As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department does not disclose the specific location of any emergency accommodation centres in order to protect the identity of the international protection applicants.
Every effort is being made to re-accommodate applicants in emergency locations to a dedicated accommodation centre as quickly as possible where we can provide the full range of State services and supports.
IPAS is actively working on securing additional capacity, both in its existing centres and through sourcing new accommodation centres via a series of regional procurement competitions and the advertisement of expressions of interest for the provision of accommodation.