Only 21% of a fund available for accommodation for people with disabilities spent in 2016 - Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has learned that only €2.1m of a €10m ring fenced fund specifically for the provision of accommodation for persons with disabilities transitioning from congregated settings was spent in 2016.
The Dublin-Mid West TD said:
“I received information in response to a parliamentary question this week that has indicated there was underspend of a massive 79% underspend of the €10m specifically set aside to help people with disabilities access accommodation when transitioning from, for example, campus based settings.
“Only €2.1m of this fund was approved in 2016 towards accommodation in counties Donegal, Galway, Kildare and Offaly for 20 people who had moved out of congregated settings.
“The response from Minister Murphy did indicate that the Department is aware of the slow take up of the funding.
"However with government previously indicating that it hopes that nearly all the 4,000 people with disabilities will move to housing in the community by 2018, 20 people being accommodated in 2016 is not in any way ambitious.
“The Minister has stated that in the PQ response that his department is working with the HSE to develop revised guidelines to support the increased take up of the available funding. However if the government can afford to spend €200,000 on a six week welfare cheats campaign, surely it can create a little publicity around the funding available to help those with disabilities.”
PQ response below
QUESTION NO: 803DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy)
by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 11/07/2017
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning; Community and Local Government the status of the ringfenced funding of €10 million in 2016 under the CAS, specifically for the provision of accommodation for persons with disabilities transitioning from congregated settings as mentioned on page 55 of Rebuilding Ireland; the areas in which this funding was utilised; and the number of housing units delivered.
Ring-fenced funding of €10 million was made available in 2016 under the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) to support the provision of accommodation for persons with disabilities transitioning from congregated settings. However, take-up was slow, with €2.1 million being approved that year towards accommodation in counties Donegal, Galway, Kildare and Offaly for 20 people who had moved out of congregated settings.
Given the slow take up in 2016, my Department will continue to provide funding in 2017 and beyond to support accommodation for persons transitioning from congregated settings. My Department is also working with the HSE to develop revised guidelines to support increased take-up of available CAS funding for this area of need, in the light of the experience to date.