Dáil Éireann - Volume 521 - 13 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Homeless Persons.
Mr. O'Shea Mr. O'Shea
224. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the action he proposes to take in relation to the 97 men and three women who are currently registered as homeless in Waterford city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16558/00]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The most recent assessment of local authority housing needs, including homeless persons, was carried out in March 1999. The assessment of the number of homeless persons was based on a broader definition of homeless persons which includes those with no accommodation, those in hostels and in health board accommodation and those staying with friends. Under this assessment, there was a total of 69 persons categorised as homeless in Waterford city, comprising of 55 adult males, six adult females and eight dependent children. At the time the assessment was carried out, these persons were living in hostel type accommodation. However, in general, not all persons identified as homeless in the assessment of housing needs would be in need of emergency accommodation. Some would stay with family or friends until suitable accommodation became available.
It is of course primarily a matter for the local authority concerned in this case, Waterford Corporation, to formulate responses to meet the accommodation and welfare needs of homeless people in their area in co-operation with the other statutory and voluntary agencies. For my part, I recently launched the Government's integrated strategy to tackle homelessness. It aims to provide an integrated response from all the statutory and voluntary agencies providing services to the homeless. It requires local authorities and  health boards to draw up action plans at city and county level to detail how accommodation, health, settlement and welfare services will be provided to homeless persons by all of the agencies involved in providing these services. The Government has made substantial current and capital funding available to ensure that the measures outlined in the strategy are implemented.
My Department has contacted all local authorities urging early implementation of the measures that have been identified. All of the county councils and the five county borough corporations have been asked to produce their action plans, jointly with health boards and voluntary bodies, within three months and by the end of August at the latest. My Department will be monitoring progress on these actions.
Dáil Éireann 521 Written Answers. Homeless Persons.