Minister must introduce Independent Inspection Regime for Homeless Accommodation – Ó Broin
Speaking today during an Oireachtas Housing Committee hearing on homeless HUBs, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Minister Eoghan Murphy ‘to introduce an independent inspection regime for homeless accommodation in Budget 2018’.
The Committee hearing heard from Maynooth academics Mary Murphy and Rory Hearne, who published a report on family HUBs in July, and responses to the report from the Department of Housing and the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“There are currently over 8,000 people, including 3,000 children, living in emergency homeless accommodation. This does not include those families in domestic violence refuge accommodation or those with leave to remain trapped in Direct Provision.
“Many of these families are spending up to two years in inappropriate and unsatisfactory accommodation. While the introduction of purpose built family HUBs marks an improvement on the use of commercial hotels and BnBs, it does not represent a solution to the homeless crisis.
“There is clear evidence both from the Murphy-Hearne Report and from complaints received by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive that not all emergency accommodation meets basic standards. One of the Reports key recommendations is for a quality standards framework for emergency accommodation and an independent inspection regime.
“The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and a number of local authorities have been developing a Quality Standards Framework. This work is now complete and has been presented to the Department with a proposal for the establishment of a Quality Standards Office and inspection regime.
“Minister Murphy must include this proposal along with adequate staffing and resources in Budget 2018. The office must be fully independent of both the Department of Housing and the Local Authorities. Its remit must include all emergency accommodation, including commercial hotels and BnBs.
“While the solution to homelessness is the increased provision of social housing, Government must ensure that while in emergency accommodation adults and children must have the highest standards of provision possible.”