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Dublin Sinn Féin motion to support victims of domestic violence passed unanimously - Minhan

4 December, 2007


Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Louise Minihan has welcomed last nights unanimous decision by Dublin City Councillors to support the Sinn Féin motion to phase out the use of B&Bs for victims of domestic violence and to instead introduce a sufficient quantity of purpose-built emergency accommodation.

 

Cllr. Minihan said:

 

“I am absolutely delighted that City Councillors agreed last night to unanimously support this practical motion in support of victims of domestic violence. The biggest obstacle to those fleeing domestic abuse is not having viable alternative accommodation. Dublin City Council can now change that.

 

“Figures available starkly demonstrate the acute shortage of emergency refuge spaces.  In 2004 almost 2,000 women and children accessed emergency accommodation in the Eastern region.  1,144 were turned away due to the lack of spaces.  That’s over 50% turned away.

 

“In addition the current practice of using B&Bs for emergency accommodation is not conducive to victims needs. It is also no substitute for fully resourced women’s refugee or purpose built emergency accommodation for women fleeing violent relationships. Security and support are essential during such a traumatic time.

 

“Since 2003, according to figures provided to me by the Minister, spending by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government on refuge accommodation has increased by less than 5%.  That’s below the rate of inflation which means that in real terms spending has decreased. 

 

“Sinn Féin’s motion also called for supported transitional housing developments and an adequate supply of social units. Again if victims are to complete the journey of rebuilding their lives and often the lives of their children access to long term accommodation must be part of the overall support strategy.

 

“The proposal has now gone to the DCC Housing SPC where it will be progressed. As a member of this SPC I intend to ensure that the spirit and practicalities of this motion comes to fruition.” CRÍOCH

 

Note to Editor: Motion Wording below

This Council:

 

Noting that it is the local authority’s responsibility to provide housing where the act of leaving an abusive relationship would otherwise render a victim of domestic violence homeless;

 

Recognising that the current practice in Dublin of using private B&Bs in place of refuges due to the shortage of spaces in same is inappropriate as it is often highly unsuitable in particular for women with children who are in need of intensive specialist supports;

 

Calls on the Dublin City Council Manager to phase out the use of private B&Bs for victims of domestic violence and to instead introduce a sufficient quantity of purpose-built emergency accommodation;

 

And in addition, mandates greater provision of supported transitional housing developments and an adequate supply of social units.

 

 

 

 

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