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Cian O'Callaghan TD

Social Democrats Housing spokesperson, Cian O’Callaghan TD, has called on the Minister for Housing to act on standards in emergency accommodation for people who have become homeless.

Deputy O’Callaghan said:

“It is very concerning that 34% of privately operated emergency homeless shelters had fire safety issues when they were inspected by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), as revealed by RTÉ Investigates. This comes after the Dublin Inquirer highlighted that several private providers have been operating in buildings without fire certs.

“Only one in six providers of emergency accommodation are inspected against the National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF), despite Minister Darragh O’Brien’s comments to the contrary when I questioned him on this in the Dáil. Despite what the Minister has said, only NGO providers are being inspected to ensure compliance with the NQSF.

“Minister O’Brien must correct the Dáil record and make clear what action he will take to bring all emergency accommodation up to these standards.

“On Wednesday night, I accompanied the Dublin Homeless Outreach Team as they visited people who are sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin. I met a number of people who told me that they feel safer sleeping in tents on our streets than in privately run emergency accommodation. This strengthened my view that there must be independent inspections of private providers of emergency accommodation by HIQA to ensure that standards are substantially improved.

“We also need to question why more and more money is being put into the hands of private providers instead of investing in long-term and secure housing for people who have lost their homes.”

March 9, 2021

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