Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (254)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

254. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons granted asylum but continuing to reside in direct provision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47278/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that as of 13 November 2019, there were 847 people who have been granted a protection status residing in accommodation centres provided by my Department.

My Department, through the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) which administers the system of accommodation for protection applicants, provides such persons with accommodation while they source their own accommodation. I am particularly mindful of the reality of the housing situation in the State and the pressures on the Community Welfare Service in respect of Rent Supplement and on the City and County Councils in respect of Housing Assistance Payments and Housing Lists. That said, the provision of housing for persons coming out of the protection process has been incorporated in the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

Following on from the McMahon report, my Department developed a guide to independent living for persons with status to provide practical assistance for them. The guide is available in all accommodation centres and has been published on the IPAS website (www.ria.gov.ie) in a number of different languages. The guide was published in parallel with information sessions provided in the accommodation centres, coordinated by the Citizens Information Bureau, which gave an opportunity for such persons to seek assistance and clarification on the services provided. The IPAS, its centre managers, the Community Welfare Service (by way of provision of Rent Allowance), Citizens Information and those City and County Councils operating the Housing Assistance Payments link with such persons in accessing the appropriate supports and services, including in respect of sourcing and securing private accommodation.

I can also say that my Department has, in conjunction with a number of charities and NGOs who were awarded funding for projects, assisted a total of 675 people to transit from state provided accommodation to permanent homes in the community. This figure relates to the period from the beginning of the year to the end of October. I am confident that the services provided with this funding will prove of great assistance and benefit to all concerned.