Report of Expert Review Group Awaited

Pavee Point looks forward to the urgently awaited report of the Traveller Accommodation Expert Review Group as recommended by the National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee in May 2018.

We see this review as a not-to-be-missed opportunity to bring about real change in the dire living conditions of many Irish Travellers.

Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English TD says he welcomes and supports the review of the Traveller Accommodation Act by an expert review group.

This review group is made up of independent experts who will review the Traveller Accommodation Act 1998, and other legislation that impacts the provision and delivery of accommodation for Travellers.

In our SUBMISSION (January 2019) to the expert group we state:

The Traveller Accommodation Act, 1998 has not helped provide the legislative basis to meet current and future accommodation needs of Travellers.   Local authorities have not been held to account for their failure to meet their Traveller Accommodation Programmes.

We identify the KEY BARRIERS to improving Traveller accommodation as:

  • Racism and discrimination (on individual and institutional levels)

  • Traveller accommodation not seen as a priority on a local and national basis

  • Opposition from political parties, local representatives and resident associations in the development of new sites

  • Lack of accountability/sanctions for local authorities in underspend and non-delivery of Traveller Accommodation Programmes

  • Lack of robust data in the absence of an ethnic identifier in Housing Needs Assessments

We RECOMMEND:

  • The 1998 Housing (Traveller accommodation) Act and criminal trespass legislation be scrapped with immediate effect.

  • A ban on evictions until the accommodation needs of all Travellers on the housing list have been met

  • An independent statutory Traveller Agency be established with dedicated responsibility to drive and monitor the implementation of Traveller policy – with accommodation as a priority.

  • Diverse needs of Travellers to be taken in into account by the Expert group, in particular consideration to gender and disability.

The Expert Review Group is comprised of Mr David Joyce, Dr Conor Norton and Prof. Michelle Norris and is due to report by April 2019.  Read our full submission.