Govt Accused Of 'Dragging Its Heels' On Independent Inspection Regime

The government has been accused of "dragging its heels" on the introduction of a quality standards framework and an independent inspection regime for emergency accommodation.

Making the accusation, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said: "I have been raising this issue with Minister Murphy since July 2017, where he stated that a national quality standards framework for homelessness services has been developed by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE).

"I met with the DRHE in September 2017 for an update on the development of the quality standards and more than 18 months later there are still no standards.

"I published my own Bill on the issue in the June 2018. The Emergency Homeless Accommodation and Direct Provision Independent Inspection Bill granted HIQA the power to inspect all emergency homeless accommodation funded by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

"The latest PQ response from the Minister for Housing claims that guidance on the national implementation of a quality standards framework will be issued to all local authorities before the end of quarter one of 2019.

"This has been a painfully slow process. I cannot understand how it is taking so long especially when there are other examples of independent inspections regimes in place.

"What will be key to the successful implementation of any quality standards framework is that they apply to both public and commercial emergency accommodation providers and that the inspections are conducted by an independent body.

"The government has taken too long. Children and families living in emergency accommodation deserve good quality standards, since many of them are trapped there for two years or more."

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