Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has echoed calls from Fr. Peter McVerry and campaigner Anthony Flynn for an independent inspection regime to be introduced for all emergency homeless accommodation.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The government has committed to rolling out more emergency accommodation to cater for the growing number of homeless people needing shelter due to rising rents and long waiting lists.
“The majority of the hostels ran by the NGOs are fine, however as Fr. Peter McVerry stated this morning, there are a number of cases where people who are clean are sharing confined spaces with drug users.
“Homeless people themselves have stated that they prefer to stay in tents because they feel safer, then in dormitory type accommodation.
“We need to ensure that these hostels are safe spaces.
“We also must see the end of the use of dormitory style accommodation.
“We also need a fully independent inspection regime for all emergency accommodation conducted by HIQA or a body with similar powers.
“In June 2018 I published my own Bill to this effect.
“The Emergency Homeless Accommodation and Direct Provision Independent Inspection Bill granted HIQA the power to inspect all emergency homeless accommodation and direct provision centres funded by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Department of Justice.
“We need to do better. People using emergency accommodation deserve good quality standards.”
Note to editors: Link to Bill https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/bill/2018/60/eng/initiated/b6018d.pdf