Funding not as issue in providing emergency accommodation in Limerick

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Housing Ministeer Darragh O'Brien

HOUSING Minister Darragh O’Brien has said that resources and funding are not an obstacle to providing emergency accommodation in Limerick.

Asked by Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan if he has engaged with Limerick City and County Council in relation to the lack of emergency accommodation in the city, Minister O’Brien said that supporting people facing homelessness is a key Government priority.

“The role of my Department is to ensure that a framework of policy, legislation and funding is provided to ensure that housing authorities are in a position to address homelessness at a local level.

“I can assure the Deputy that resources and funding are not an obstacle to the urgent efforts required. Budget 2022 reflects this commitment by allocating €194 million for homelessness services,” he told Deputy Quinlivan.

Minister O’Brien acknowledged that there is currently severe pressures on access to emergency accommodation in Limerick City due to a variety of reasons.

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”I understand that Limerick City and County Council is doing everything in its power to address this. My Department has liaised and continues to liaise with the council in this regard.

“While my Department sets the overall policy and legislative framework and provides the necessary resources, decisions on the range of homeless accommodation required, and the funding of such services are a matter for individual authorities.

“The administration of homeless services is organised on a regional basis with a lead authority in place for each region. Limerick City and County Council is the regional lead authority for the Mid West region, which also includes Clare County Council.”

Deputy Quinlivan was also informed that €8.2 million was provided in exchequer funding to the Mid West Region in 2021 with over €3.8 million in funding recouped to date in 2022, with further payments to be made.

“I can assure the Deputy again that resources will not be an obstacle to the urgent efforts required.

“Homelessness is a complex issue, in which causal factors and family circumstances vary considerably, as do the responses needed. Homelessness is also inter-related with the other areas of the housing system and with broader social and healthcare policy and service delivery.

“Therefore, a whole of Government approach is required in dealing with this challenge. This is how we are working and will continue to do so,” Minister O’Brien added