Funding red tape has led to low output of Traveller-specific accommodation
WITH IRELAND IN the grip of a housing crisis, the need for adequate resourcing of Traveller-specific accommodation solutions is becoming increasingly apparent. The allocation of funding for such projects, however, has in the past been haphazardly distributed and unnecessarily convoluted.
Since the 1998 Housing Act, local authorities have been funded by the Department of Housing to provide Traveller-specific accommodation (TSA) in their areas and it is funded separately to general social housing funding from central government.
However, over the years many local authorities have failed to spend this money. In July, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) published the findings of equality reviews for all of Ireland’s local authorities, focused on Traveller-specific accommodation.
The reviews found that between 2008 and 2018, of €168.8 million allocated to local authorities for Traveller-specific accommodation, just two thirds (€110.6 million) was drawn down.
The reviews found evidence of poor information gathering to inform decision-making and in identifying Travellers’ true accommodation preference. There were also failures around staff training at local authorities, accounting for Travellers with disabilities, and ensuring there was no discrimination when it came to access to housing.
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