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Ó Broin reiterates call for HIQA child protection inspection of emergency homeless accommodation

24 July, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has today reiterated his request for an urgent child protection HIQA inspection of emergency homeless accommodation. 

Deputy Ó Broin said: 

“This morning, the office of Ombudsman for Children highlighted its serious concerns about the poor conditions some families in emergency accommodation are living in. It also called for children’s rights and children’s needs to be given greater consideration when any new housing policy comes into place. It also called for the government to implement a robust inspection regime for this type of accommodation.

“One in three people in emergency homeless accommodation is a child and, unfortunately, this figure is rising every month, with 2,226 children recorded in May this year. Sinn Féin is deeply concerned about the length of time families are spending in this type of accommodation and the poor conditions they often have to endure. This is evidenced in FOI data provided to which details the complaints made by residents of homeless accommodation facilities of the appalling conditions they are living. This included drug use, cockroach infestations, and damp and mouldy conditions.

“Sinn Féin believe that HIQA is best placed to conduct a thorough child protection inspection of emergency homeless accommodation. The organisation has experience of inspecting similar accommodation services when it conducted an inspection of child and welfare services provided to children living in direct provision accommodation in areas across the state back in 2015.

“Last week, I wrote to Ministers Eoghan Murphy and Katherine Zappone formally asking them to request a HIQA inspection of the child protection and welfare services provided to children living in all government funded emergency accommodation including Section Ten and local authority funded emergency homeless accommodation. I have not yet received a response from either Minister.” 

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