Full council: 24th Febuary 2020

Motion: That the council re-examines the financial contribution required of homeless families living in emergency accommodation,with a view to its removal from the 2021 budget.

Report: In accordance with Section 10 of the Housing Act 1988, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government contributes Exchequer funding to housing authorities in respect of costs incurred in the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless people.Section 10 funding is contingent on decision-making on the disbursement of Exchequer funding being in accordance with Government policy.

Kildare County Council, as the Mid-East Regional Lead Authority on Homelessness, has responsibility for the disbursement of Exchequer funding.At present the Mid-East Regional Authorities of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare request that a financial contribution is received from those living in emergency accommodation.Equally, people availing of accommodation services provided by external agencies/NGOs contribute towards the cost of the provision of the necessary services.

Kildare County Council, supported Tenancy Sustainability Officers, Homeless Outreach Officers, Social Workers and Homeless Support services, consider that the nominal accommodation charge is reasonable and warranted.In addition to the provision of homeless accommodation, the council engages with individuals, many with complex needs, to ensure they are provided with the skills to sustain tenancies, which includes budgeting and personal finance management, as they exit the temporary emergency accommodation system to independent living.

Subject to the agreement of the elected members the issue raised in Councillor Liston’s motion can be referred to both the Housing SPC [once established] and the Mid-East Region Statutory Management Group for review and recommendations, having regard to national and regional policies.

Issued by: Ms E Wright, Senior Executive Officer, Housing Department.

Follow Up
Following discussion Council agreed that the Housing SPC would examine this issue starting from the position of assuming no cost from 2021. Where any cost is to be applied this has to be justified with reasoning and evidence.