‘Expert group’ to examine Traveller accommodation policy

Senator says targets not met at any point since being made mandatory 18 years ago

An expert group is to be set up to examine Traveller accommodation policy, Minister of State for Housing Damien English has said. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

An expert group is to be set up to examine Traveller accommodation policy, Minister of State for Housing Damien English has said. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

 

An expert group is to be set up to examine Traveller accommodation policy, Minister of State for Housing Damien English has said.

“The composition and terms of reference and methodology of this expert group are being formulated with a view to it being in place as soon as possible,’’ he added.

He told the Seanad on Wednesday that last year the Housing Agency had commissioned a review examining capital and current funding for Traveller-specific accommodation, having regard to targets and actual units delivered.

Where targets had not been met, the review included an analysis of the underlying reasons to identify the particular challenges needed to be addressed to underpin future progress, he added.

He said the review would be made available on the department’s website within the next week.

Mr Enright was replying to Independent Senator Colette Kelleher who said The Irish Times had revealed earlier this month that Traveller accommodation targets had not been fully met at any point since they were made mandatory on local authorities 18 years ago.

The article went on to say that anti-Traveller prejudice at local authority level might be hampering progress.

“If the intention of Government policy and the current legislation is that targets for Traveller accommodation would be met in full, and that things would improve, it is clearly failing,’’ Ms Kelleher added.