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Minister Eoghan Murphy confirms delivery of over 200 permanent emergency beds and an available bed for homeless individuals and rough sleepers this Christmas

Published on Monday, 18 Dec 2017

“The Taoiseach and I have said on a number of occasions that no individual should have to sleep on our streets or be without shelter at any time of the year, but especially at this time of the year.” So said Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today (18 December, 2017)

“This Christmas, there will be over 200 additional permanent emergency beds, with wrap around medical and other required supports in place for those who unfortunately are homeless and need our help. 

“At the Housing Summit, which was held earlier this year, I emphasised to all local authorities and to our partners in the voluntary sector, the need to have enough permanent emergency beds and appropriate facilities in the system for every individual who wants to access those beds each night. Against this background, I instructed them to ensure that enough permanent emergency beds be delivered in 2017, for the present number of rough sleepers and also requested that they allow for any emerging needs or unforeseen additional requirements that may arise.”   

The rough sleeper count, which the Dublin Region Homeless Executive published last month, reported a total of 184 rough sleepers across the Dublin region on the night of the 7th November 2017. The 200 permanent emergency beds, which the Government have now delivered, mean that an emergency bed and shelter will be available for those who need them.

“Today, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and I were pleased to visit 30 of the new permanent emergency beds at Longfields, Fitzwilliam Street, which the Simon Community will operate and manage.

“Tonight, these beds will be available and occupied by individuals and will offer warmth and shelter.

“In addition to shelter, the facility will provide homeless individuals with a range of health and welfare supports, as well as food and sanitary facilities, which they would not have on the streets. Importantly, facilities like this one will provide stability to individuals so that the housing authorities and the HSE can work with them to see how they might exit homelessness into some independent living.

“Of course any emergency accommodation, whether it be a facility like Longfields or on the Cabra Road, which has 60 new permanent emergency beds and which I visited recently, should only be a first response.

"Permanent housing is the real solution to addressing homelessness and with a budget provision of just under €2 billion for 2018, my main focus will be on accelerating the delivery of social housing and increasing significantly the number of social housing homes delivered across the country. Key will be the fast delivery of the 3,600 social housing homes that are under construction and on sites right now.” 

In terms of those individuals who are sleeping rough presently and who are homeless, the Housing First programme is critical and provides direct access to housing and to the intensive health, addiction and personal supports required for people who are homeless and have complex needs to maintain their tenancies. This includes rough sleepers, long-term users of emergency accommodation, young people exiting care, and those exiting institutions such as prison and hospitals.

“Using this model, 190 tenancies have now been created in Dublin under a consortium contract between the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Focus Ireland the Peter McVerry Trust.  We are now extending Housing First to the major urban areas outside of Dublin. The housing authorities in Cork, Limerick and Galway are working closely with the HSE and NGOs with a view to deliver 100 tenancies starting next year.

“The public competition to appoint a new National Director of Housing First is drawing to a close and I envisage that a new Director will be in place in early 2018 to oversee and roll out this key programme. In addition to accelerating the roll out of the Housing First Programme, I am making €350,000 available in 2018 to support the appointment of exit co-ordinators across the various local authority areas, who will support individuals transition into independent living. I have also confirmed to local authorities and the various homeless charities that whatever funding is required to support the housing of individuals under the Housing First programme will be provided.

“Last week, I met with each of the Chief Executives of the main homeless charities. It is critical that Government and all stakeholders work together in terms of supporting the most vulnerable of our citizens. The challenge is immense and it will require us all to work together.

"Whether it be my own Department or my Cabinet colleagues, who have responsibility for health, children, education, equality or social protection, 2018 will be a year where, together with our key partners, we will work hard to provide joined up and coherent services to homeless individuals and families.

“We all know that the delivery of homes is key to meeting the needs of those experiencing homeless. We will provide well over 21,000 social housing solutions this year and my Department, local authorities and approved housing bodies will continue to work closely, quickly and proactively to identify further solutions and increase social housing solutions so that we can give those experiencing homelessness the help they need.”

ENDS

 

Editor’s Note

Additional Capacity for singles and couples delivered by end year 2017

Premises

Operator

Type

Capacity

Drumcondra D 9

PMVT

STA

30

Portobello

PO

PEA

21

Clonskeagh D 6

Dub Simon

LTA

13

Cabra Road D 7

PMVT

STA

60

Little Britain St D 7

Depaul

STA

24

Longfields D 2

Dub Simon

STA

30

Balfe Road D 12

PMVT

STA

40

Ellis Quay D 7

PMVT

STA

10

Total

 

 

228

*Tallaght, D. 24 -  PMVT STA with capacity for 15 to open early 2018, which will bring the number of additional emergency beds progressed during 2017 to 243.