Budget 2018 provision for Traveller accommodation ‘not enough’ – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that the small budget increase in the Traveller accommodation budget for 2018 will do little to ease the Traveller accommodation crisis. The Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy announced that the Traveller accommodation budget for 2018 would be €12m, an increase of €3m on 2017.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“According to the Minister, the additional spend will deliver 110 homes in 2018. According to Pavee Point, this is inadequate to keep pace with new family formations and the overcrowded situations that currently exist on Traveller sites and group housing schemes.
“In Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget for 2018, we proposed to restore funding for Traveller Accommodation Programmes to 2008 levels by increasing the budget by €31m. This would deliver 400 Traveller specific family units.
“However, in tandem with increasing the funding available from central government, more needs to be done to ensure local authorities to draw down the funding available. Many councils in the past have failed to spend their allocated funding.
“To tackle this problem, Sinn Féin believe that the Minister of Housing should have additional powers to ensure that all funding allocated to local authorities for Traveller accommodation is drawn down and spent on an annual basis.
“In the meantime, we are calling on the Department of Housing to immediately publish the Housing Agency Report reviewing the effectiveness of Traveller Accommodation Programmes.
“I raised the matter at the Housing Committee today and it was agreed that on publication of the report Committee would hold a series of hearings on the report’s findings. These would involve the report’s authors, Traveller advocacy organisations, the Department of Housing, and the City and County Managers Association.”