Local authorities 'letting politics get in way of Traveller housing'
Published 17/10/2015 | 02:30
Local authorities have been accused of letting political interference get in the way of accommodating the Traveller community.
The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) said an independent housing authority was needed to end what it termed "a perpetual cycle of non-delivery".
Each council is obliged to put in place a Traveller Accommodation Programme (TAP) every five years.
But only nine local authorities fully delivered on commitments made in the last round of TAPs, from 2009 to 2013.
"The difficulty is where politicians are reliant on votes, it is not popular for them to be voting in Traveller accommodation," said ITM spokeswoman Jacinta Brack.
"The system needs a radical overhaul," she said. The ITM declined to pinpoint specific councils, but one where Traveller accommodation has been particularly contentious is Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, where officials are currently involved in talks to find accommodation for Travellers affected by the Carrickmines fire tragedy.
Council officials there have yet to draw down any Government funding for new accommodation under TAP agreed on in January last year.
The council said whether the plan was delivered in full would be dependent on a number of factors. These include "the actual need in comparison with the projected need, the level of casual vacancies arising during the lifetime of the programme, the acquisition of land and the availability of services or infrastructure".