Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
197. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the percentage of persons eligible for Housing First who have received a Housing First home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38762/21]
Housing First enables homeless individuals with high levels of complex needs to obtain permanent secure accommodation with the provision of intensive housing and health supports to help them maintain their tenancies.
The National Implementation Plan for Housing First, published in September 2018, which puts the programme on a national footing, is designed to provide this response, by delivering permanent housing solutions and associated supports for rough sleepers and long-term users of emergency accommodation. It extends the delivery of Housing First nationally, with the introduction of targets for each local authority.
The Plan includes an overall target of 663 tenancies in the period 2018-2021. The implementation of the Plan is a joint initiative of my Department, the Department of Health, the HSE and the local authorities. The regional targets contained in the Plan were agreed by local authorities based on a review of homelessness data and a national survey of the support needs of homeless individuals conducted with service providers. In this regard, it is important to note that the majority of individuals in emergency accommodation do not require the level of supports provided by Housing First.
In line with the National Implementation Plan, Housing First is being delivered on a regional basis by the local authorities and the HSE. Contracts for the delivery of services have been put in place in each of the nine regions responsible for the delivery of homeless services with tenancies now in place in every region. At the end of March 2021, a total of 539 individuals were being housed under the Housing First programme including 438 individuals who have been housed since the publication of the National Implementation Plan.
The Programme for Government commits to the further expansion of Housing First. Research is currently being undertaken by the Housing Agency to carry out an assessment of need for the supports provided by Housing First. This will inform the expansion of the Programme which I expect to announce later this year, in advance of the expiration of the current National Implementation Plan.