Government dragging its heels on independent inspection regime for emergency accommodation- Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the government for “dragging its heels” on the introduction of a quality standards framework and an independent inspection regime for emergency accommodation.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“I have been raising this issue with Minister Murphy since July 2017, where he stated that a national quality standards framework for homelessness services has been developed by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE).
“I met with the DRHE in September 2017 for an update on the development of the quality standards and more than 18 months later there are still no standards.
“I published my own Bill on the issue in the June 2018. The Emergency Homeless Accommodation and Direct Provision Independent Inspection Bill granted HIQA the power to inspect all emergency homeless accommodation funded by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
“The latest PQ response from the Minister for Housing claims that guidance on the national implementation of a quality standards framework will be issued to all local authorities before the end of quarter one of 2019.
“This has been a painfully slow process. I cannot understand how it is taking so long especially when there are other examples of independent inspections regimes in place.
“What will be key to the successful implementation of any quality standards framework is that they apply to both public and commercial emergency accommodation providers and that the inspections are conducted by an independent body.
“The government has taken too long. Children and families living in emergency accommodation deserve good quality standards, since many of them are trapped there for two years or more.”
For Oral Answer on : 20/02/2019
Question Number(s): 78 Question Reference(s):8450/19
Department: Housing, Planning and Local Government
Asked by: Eoin Ó Broin T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the status of the quality standards framework inspection regime for emergency homeless accommodation; and when the framework will be in place.
My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities. This includes operational issues such as ensuring that contracted services are delivered in a professional manner, that inspections take place and that homeless families/individuals can report issues to the relevant authority.
In this regard, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has been overseeing the development of a quality standards framework, coordinating this work in consultation with an advisory group, which includes representation from various housing authorities, service providers, Tusla, clients and other stakeholders, with a view to having the finalised standards adopted on a national basis by individual housing authorities.
Guidance on the national implementation of a quality standards framework will be issued to all local authorities before the end of Q1 2019.