09/06/2016

Govt Urged To Increase Funding For Domestic Violence Support Services

The government has been urged to substantially increase funding for domestic violence accommodation support services.

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoin Ó Broin, made the call following a response from Minister Katherine Zappone to a parliamentary question which showed that Tusla only received €15.6m in funding for all domestic violence support services in 2015. The agency has been allocated €20.6m for 2016.

Minister Ó Broin said: "The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has stated that of the 78 newly homeless families presenting to it in August 2015, 'relationship breakdown' has been cited as one of the primary causes.

"Similarly, in a survey of 70 homeless families in March this year, cited by Sonas, a domestic violence charity specialising in housing, one in six said domestic violence was the main cause of their homeless experience.

"In reality, the charity believes this figure is closer to one in four when you factor in those who have become homeless in the past due to domestic violence."

"According to Sonas, the majority of the newly homeless families are female headed households. It also states that one of the root causes of women and children becoming homeless is domestic violence.

"Tusla's 2016 budget of only €20.6m is for all domestic violence support services. This will just maintain services at a 2015 level, with a small amount of additional funding for emergency accommodation in the Greater Dublin area.

"Given the growing level of family homelessness, this figure is clearly insufficient. The government needs to make a specific commitment in Budget 2017 to substantially increase funding for domestic violence accommodation support services.

"The government also need to ensure better coordination between Tusla, the HSE, Local Authorities and NGOs to make sure that the needs of all domestic violence survivors are met."

(MH/LM)

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