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Only 18.5% of traveller accommodation funding drawn down to date in 2019 – Ó Broin

10 July, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has described as “totally unacceptable” that only 18.5% of the €13m in funding available for traveller accommodation has been drawn down in the first half of 2019. He has called on Minister Murphy to take “urgent action to ensure all the funding available is spent this year”.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Figures released to me in response to a parliamentary question indicated that just €2.4m out of a budget of €13m was draw down for Traveller Accommodation in the first half of 2019.

“This means that a huge 81.5% of the €13m remains to be drawn down over the latter half of the year.

“The underspend trend by some local authorities on traveller accommodation is continuing.  Nineteen counties have failed to draw down any funding yet this year.

“Five local authorities have not even requested any funding for this year, including Dun Laoghaire, Fingal, Galway City, Laois, and Mayo. All these local authorities have a significant Traveller population and therefore have a significant level of traveller accommodation need.

“In 2018, 107 homes were provided under the Traveller Accommodation Programme at a cost of €6.8m. This represented an underspend of 44%.

“It was a similar story in 2017 where only €4.8m was drawn down out of a budget of €8.7m.

“We are awaiting the publication of the report of the expert group that is reviewing the traveller accommodation programmes.

“In the meantime, Traveller families are continuing to live in unsuitable accommodation, despite the funding being available to spend.

“I’ve written to Minister Murphy calling on him to take urgent action to ensure all monies are drawn down by the end of the year.” 

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