Sinn Féin pushes for independent inspection of homeless accommodation

ireland
Sinn Féin Pushes For Independent Inspection Of Homeless Accommodation Sinn Féin Pushes For Independent Inspection Of Homeless Accommodation
Rough sleeper in a shop doorway, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Dominic McGrath, PA

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) would be given new powers to inspect all homeless accommodation, under new legislation proposed by Sinn Féin.

The plan, announced on Thursday by Sinn Féin TD, Eoin Ó Broin, comes days after the chief executive of Dublin City Council suggested that homeless tents should be removed from the capital.

Mr Ó Broin said that Hiqa, an independent body currently charged with inspecting and reviewing health and social care in Ireland, was the appropriate body to take on these new powers.

He said that the body would be able to inspect public and private emergency accommodation, as well as direct provision centres.

“They are the best placed organisation and it is much quicker to give them the powers, rather than set up a new inspectorate,” he said.

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Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin at Leinster House in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Speaking about the current oversight regime of homeless accommodation, the Sinn Féin housing spokesperson said: “There is very little inspection, virtually none during Covid, and it is not independent.”

“One of the reasons people sleep rough is because there are issues and concerns with some of the emergency accommodation that is out there.”

In an interview on Sunday with Newstalk, Dublin City Council CEO, Owen Keegan, said: “We don’t think people should be allowed to sleep in tents when there’s an abundance of supervised hostels.”

He said the sight of tents gave Dublin an “edginess”.

Mr Ó Broin said the comments were “unfortunate”.

He said his party would be introducing the Bill as early as possible in the next Dáil term — and urged the Government to back it.

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