MEDIA STATEMENT

9 December 2014 (3.00pm)
Dublin Region Homeless Executive Welcomes Key Actions from Ministers Alan Kelly and Paudie Coffey to Address Homelessness in Dublin Region
Actions Arising from Recent Summit (December 4th 2014)
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The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) welcomes the announcement, today, (December 9 2014), of the key actions that have been put in place by Ministers Alan Kelly and Paudie Coffey, Department Environment, Community and Local Government, as a result of the recent special summit on homelessness (December 4th 2014).
The announcements were made in the Integrated Hub of Homeless Services, Dublin City Council for the Dublin region in Parkgate Hall, 6-9 Conyngham Road, Dublin 8.
The key actions outlined in the response to homelessness that are relevant to the Dublin region are as follows:
 
260 additional emergency beds
 
 
  • To be in place by the end of 2014
A Nite Café
  • This service will be established to provide a contact point for homeless people who do not want to be placed in emergency accommodation.
  • It will provide food, rest area and showers.
  • This will facilitate up to 50 people and will operate throughout the night, 7 days a week.
  • Initial commencement from 15th December –full service will commence from January 2015.
Transport with Housing First Service (On Street Service)
 
  • Provided with immediate effect
  • It will transport persons to emergency accommodation if required.
NOTE: Housing First Service - focusing on outreach functions, as well as intake for Housing First tenancies. The team have responsibility for engagement and responding to the accommodation and support needs of people sleeping rough in the Dublin region. They will also be the first point of contact for entry and assessment for those interested in referring to Housing First.
 
Homeless Helpline
 
  • Operation of service is being reviewed by December 10th 2014
  • Greater efficiency will be provided through delivery of additional beds.
Extend the Tenancy Protection Public Awareness Campaign
  • The Tenancy Protection service provided by Threshold on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities is having a significant impact in the Dublin region supporting tenants in the private rented sector to sustain their home (313 tenancies have been protected since June 16th 2014 initiation of prevention campaign)
  • The support service currently operated by Threshold in Dublin will be provided with additional staff this week.
50% of all Housing Allocations
  • Allocation of 50% of all housing allocations to homeless households and other vulnerable groups for the next six months.
  • Having regard to the time spent by these households on the homeless and other housing lists as at 1st December 2014.
NAMA
  • A hotel under the control of NAMA will be purchased to provide accommodation and a single assessment centre for homeless families.
  • Expected to be operational by the end of April 2015.
Vacant Properties
  • A total of 1,046 vacant properties to be brought back into productive use in the Dublin City Council area.
  • 655 of these will come into place over the next 4-6 months, with the remainder being developed in phases, up to 2018.
Properties Scheduled for Demolition
  • Dublin City Council is re-examining its 657 vacant properties which are currently scheduled for demolition with a view to refurbishing some of them on a temporary basis.
  • Minister will issue a direction in relation to the early refurbishment of specific developments.
Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)
  • Regulation will be signed next week to provide for HAP to be rolled out on a pilot basis for homeless households in the Dublin region, to enable accommodation to be sourced from private rented sector.
Meeting with Financial Institutions
  • The Minister will meet with financial institutions, including the Central Bank, and relevant Government Departments to discuss what measures can be taken with regard to encumbered “Buy to Let” properties and those in receivership.
Integrated Homeless Services Hub
  • The Integrated Services Hub, will further develop its case management model with the Department of Social Protection to include income support and job activation measures.
  • In addition, staff from the Department of Social Protection will work with the local authorities and the Irish Prison Service to provide an appropriate in-reach service to all prison settings to ensure that prisoners are assisted to find accommodation before release.
Protection and Welfare Needs of Families
  • Tusla and Dublin City Council will coordinate operations to ensure that services are fully responsive to the particular protection and welfare needs that might arise for families in emergency accommodation.
Health Needs
  • Health Services for the homeless will be co-ordinated at senior management level in the Dublin region from 15 December.
  • In addition, the HSE will streamline its specialist consultant-led mental health and primary care services in Q1 2015 to ensure in-reach services into all emergency accommodation settings across the Dublin region.
Evaluation of homeless sectors
  • An evaluation of the homelessness sector including its structures, service delivery and coordination arrangements will be commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in 2015.
For further information please contact:
Lisa Kelleher
Head of Communications and Training
Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Dublin City Council
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