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Housing Action Plan lacks commitment on domestic violence - Ó Broin

21 July, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing, Planning, and Local Government Eoin Ó Broin has expressed disappointment at the absence of any firm commitments in Minister Coveney’s Housing Action Plan to increase funding for domestic violence refuges, step down accommodation and other support services.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“I am disappointed that out of a 114 page document, domestic violence only has a short paragraph and a weak action dedicated to it. 

“A SAFE Ireland report launched in May this year estimates that as many as 4,000 women and children being accommodated on a yearly basis in emergency refuge accommodation are not being counted and recognised as being homeless. They have been left out of the homeless agenda.

“Lack of capacity in emergency refuges is also a problem. According to Women’s Aid Ireland has a total of 21 women’s refuges with 141 family places. This figure only represents 31% of the places needed according to a Recommendation of the Council of Europe.

“The Action Plan for Housing has stated that Tusla will provide additional emergency refuge accommodation spaces for victims of domestic violence. Are these the same as the extra eight family units that were promised for this year for the greater Dublin area as stated in a parliamentary question response in June?

“In the same response Minister Zappone confirmed to me that Tusla’s 2016 budget is only €20.6m for all domestic violence support services. This will just maintain services at a 2015 level, with a small amount of additional funding for emergency accommodation in the Greater Dublin area.

“I will be writing to Minister Coveney and Zappone asking them to outline their plans for the funding and provision of domestic violence support services for next year.

“In Sinn Féin’s view there needs to be a least at trebling of funding over the lifetime of the government in order to reach the level of domestic violence support services required.

“I will be calling on the government to include in Budget 2017 a roadmap on how it intends to adequately fund domestic violence services over the next five years in order to meet the level of need.”

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