Tuesday 25 October 2016

Most councils missed Traveller housing targets

Published 20/10/2015 | 02:30

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Just nine of the country's local authorities have met targets they set for themselves for providing Traveller accommodation in recent years.

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This is according to an analysis by the Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) of the implementation of Traveller Accommodation Programmes by 34 county and city councils around the country between 2009 and 2013.

Each local authority must develop a plan every five years for the provision of Traveller accommodation.

Following a consultative period, each council is then able to apply to the Department of Environment for funding to progress identified sites.

In most cases, this involves developing either halting sites or housing for Travellers.

Local authorities who delivered on their commitments included Meath, Wicklow, Westmeath, Donegal, Kilkenny, Monaghan, Louth, Cavan and Waterford county councils.

In the case of Meath, the local authority actually provided 59 more units than it initially targeted.

Wicklow exceeded its targets by 22 units and Westmeath by 20. However, there were significant shortfalls in other local authority areas.

The most notable were in Sligo, Fingal, Roscommon, Limerick City and South Tipperary.

The shortfall in Sligo was 71pc less than the 69 units targeted by its county council.

Fingal County Council came in 69pc below its target of 161 units, while Roscommon failed to develop two-thirds of the 60 units it identified under its programme.

According to the ITM analysis, the local authorities areas with the highest recorded number of Traveller families living without permanent accommodation and in unauthorised sites were Wexford, Offaly, Galway, Fingal, Limerick and Kildare county councils and Dublin City Council.

"All of those counties recorded shortfalls in delivery and significantly so," the analysis document stated.

The ITM analysis found a commonality between local authority areas where there was a shortfall in delivery and where there was a higher need for support.

It said Wexford, Dublin city, Limerick county and Kildare accounted for the highest number of calls to the ITM for support on issues.

These include evictions, homelessness and Travellers looking to access appropriate accommodation due to health demands.

Irish Independent

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