HOUSING Minister Darragh O’Brien said resources and funding are not a barrier to providing emergency accommodation in Limerick.
Asked by Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan if he has engaged with Limerick City and County Council over the lack of emergency accommodation in the city, Minister O’Brien said that supporting homelessness is a key government priority.
“My department’s role is to ensure that a framework of policy, legislation and funding is provided to ensure housing authorities are able to address homelessness at the local level.
“I can assure the MP that resources and funding are no impediment to the urgent efforts required. The 2022 budget reflects this commitment by allocating €194m to homeless services,” he told MP Quinlivan.
Minister O’Brien acknowledged that there is currently severe pressure on access to emergency accommodation in the city of Limerick for a variety of reasons.
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“I understand Limerick City and County Council are doing everything in their power to resolve this issue. My department has liaised and continues to liaise with council in this regard.
“While my department sets the overall policy and legislative framework and provides the necessary resources, decisions about the range of homeless accommodation required and the funding of these services fall within the remit of each authority.
“The administration of homeless services is organized on a regional basis with a responsible authority in place for each region. Limerick City and County Council is the regional authority responsible for the Mid West region, which also includes Clare County Council.
Deputy Quinlivan was also told that €8.2m was provided in Treasury funding to the Mid West region in 2021, with over €3.8m of funding recovered so far in 2022 , with further payments to be made.
“I can reassure the MP that resources will not be an obstacle to the urgent efforts required.
“Homelessness is a complex issue, in which the causal factors and family circumstances vary widely, as do the responses needed. Homelessness is also linked to other areas of the housing system and to broader health and social policy and service delivery.
“Therefore, a whole-of-government approach is needed to address this challenge. This is how we work and will continue to do so,” added Minister O’Brien.