Thursday, 10 September 2020
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I thank the Minister of State for the reply. I do not believe it is acceptable to say that this is a matter for the local authorities. As these are taxpayer-funded, albeit for-profit, hostels where these alleged abuses of people's fundamental human rights are taking place, it is not good enough for us to say that the local authorities are doing this and that there is a national framework. We need to know the reason there is not a robust independent inspection and regulation system in place to ensure that basic standards and quality are met.
On the point of addressing homelessness, why is it the case that in the national Housing First implementation plan, which targets Housing First as a policy to a very limited group of people, namely, rough sleepers and people who have used hostels long-term, the aim is to deliver only about half of the required tenancies for that targeted group over the course of the plan? Given that it is such a limited group of people, why could we not aim for 100%? In the Dublin area, only 273 Housing First tenancies are targeted. If that was doubled, at least for that very limited group, we could be making serious progress. That is something the Government could be doing and the Minister of State could use his influence to do. What is being done to ensure that basic human rights are met in these taxpayer-funded, Department-funded, for-profit hostels?