Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Homeless Persons Data
As I stated previously, supporting individual and families experiencing homelessness is an absolute priority for this Government, particularly in the case of those who, without such supports, may end up sleeping rough. Budget 2019 reflects this commitment by allocating an additional €30 million for the provision of homelessness services in 2019. That will increase the total budget available to local authorities to €146 million, which is a 26% increase on the provision for 2018. Budget 2019 also provides for an additional €60 million in capital funding for the provision of emergency accommodation, including further emergency facilities for single adults and couples.
Providing additional accommodation for rough sleepers is essential. In this regard, I recently wrote to the chief executives of the four Dublin local authorities requesting the delivery of additional emergency accommodation across the Dublin region. A plan submitted to me subsequently by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive will deliver over 200 new permanent beds across the city before the end of the year. That will add to the existing emergency bed capacity of some 2,200 beds. Furthermore, as we move into winter, I have also requested all local authorities, including in Dublin, to ensure that cold weather arrangements are in place for rough sleepers, including additional temporary emergency beds, as necessary.
Many individuals experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping as a result also require other supports to exit homelessness into an independent tenancy. The implementation plan for Housing First, published in September, is designed to provide this response, by delivering permanent housing solutions for rough sleepers and long-term users of emergency accommodation. The plan contains targets for each local authority, with an overall national target of 660 tenancies to be delivered by 2021. Crucially, implementation will be driven by a new dedicated national director of Housing First who was appointed earlier this year.