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Cllr Francis Timmons – Independent Voice

Homeless Report


Monday, January 11, 2016


QUESTION: Councillor F. Timmons

To ask for a report into the Homeless issue and Housing issues for January to December 2015 and what plans are in place to deal with this growing issue?


Homeless Position as at 30 November 2015

SDCC will continue to actively engage with a number of initiatives to support persons homeless or at risk of homelessness:

1. Threshold Prevention Service – This prevention service was established in September 2014 and endeavours to support families at risk of becoming homeless from Private Rented Accommodation. This service provides advice and information on tenants rights; ensures correct procedures are followed when serving a notice to quit and actively engages with Department of Social Protection on matters relating to rent supplement and rent caps.

2. SDCC Homeless Services Unit will continue to operate our drop-in service for advice, information, advocacy, initial assessment and if required emergency bed placement. There have been 3758 bed placements made through Central Placement Service for South Dublin applicants to date this year (note that this include repeat daily placements)

3. Approximately 110 families / individuals have been housed through SDCC Homeless Service Unit as at the 30 November 2015 into Social Housing, Approved Body Housing, Long-term Supported Housing, HAP, Private Rented Accommodation.

4. SDCC Outreach Service will continue to operate drop-in clinics in partnership with CARP and BYFS to support service users who may be sleeping rough, secure emergency bed placements, ensure registration with the local authority and provide essential links to local supports such as health, mental health, addiction, social welfare, education and training.

5. In July 2014, SDCC in partnership with Peter McVerry Trust increased the capacity of our Supported Temporary Accommodation facility (STA) for single men and will continue to provide supported housing & key-working services. More recently in July 2015, 65 families moved from Hotels and B&B across the city to temporary accommodated in Tallaght Cross which is managed by Tuath Housing Association. The Focus Ireland Team of Keyworkers and Accommodation Finders are working closely with families to seek suitable accommodation under the HAP Scheme.

6. SDCC will continue to work in partnership with the Focus Ireland Tenancy Sustainment Service & Dublin Simon Support to Live Independently to support tenants to maintain and thrive in their tenancies.

7. Every family placed into private emergency accommodation (including hotels) are referred to the Focus Ireland New Presenters Team for initial assessment and care planning to identify all housing options available and support families out of homeless services.

Winter Rough Sleep Count in the Dublin Region has confirmed 91 persons as Rough Sleeping, on the night of 30th November 2015. This is a 46% decrease since winter 2014 when 168 persons were confirmed as rough sleeping.

The Housing First Service a joint service provided by Peter McVerry trust and Focus Ireland on behalf of the region to engage with and respond to the needs of rough Sleepers. The following additional resources have been made available to meet the increasing needs of rough sleepers:

Housing First Hours of operation during CWI period:

Prior to Cold Weather Initiative (CWI): HF operated from 7am-midnight every day, and has extended until 1am during CWI period.

During CWI period, once the DCC Crosscare 100 bed facility opens, HF will have additional bed capacity to offer and will review operational hours as needs arise in liaison with DRHE and CPS.

Housing First Transport

The HF Intake service transport is available to the team to assist in supporting vulnerable people who are sleeping rough to access accommodation

Also the Cold Weather Initiative has provided for:
1.A c100 bed facility for single men and single women opened in Dublin city for the duration of the CWI.
2.Extreme Weather facility: a 20 bed facility is available for use if/when the temperature is predicted to go below zero for three consecutive nights.
3.An emergency response process for any family who may be found to be sleeping rough at night
4.there are 6 new services introduced in November:
•3 new services for families
•2 new services for singles
•1 new service for couples.

The greatest challenge facing South Dublin County Council is the growing numbers of families facing homelessness which is also reflected in the DRHE “THE DUBLIN LOCAL AUTHORITY RESPONSE TO HOMELESSNESS IN THE REGION” Report (DATA: July to September 2015).

However, on a regional level there have been a number of measures in attempt to meet needs of families
1.For those in Homeless in emergency accommodation, they can avail of further 25% above the standard HAP Rent Limits as outlined in Statutory Instrument No 474 of 2015 published on the 3rd November 2015. As at 30 November 2015, 12 No. Homeless households have secured accommodation under HAP, of which 8 HAP tenancies were secured since the increase in Standard HAP limits in South Dublin, introduced in July 2015. Members of SDCC Homeless services are visiting hotels and giving workshops on the Homeless HAP initiative in attempt to moving those currently in emergency accommodation through HAP scheme.

2.500 modular housing units confirmed to be delivered in the Dublin region in 2016, to provide temporary accommodation for families who are currently in commercial hotels. An initial 22 units will be delivered before end 2015 in the Dublin City Council administrative area through an Accelerated Restricted Procedure (ARP) to provide homes, in recognition of the extreme urgency to respond to family homelessness in the Dublin region. South Dublin County Council is currently identifying appropriate locations for a number of units.