Budget 2018 for Travellers – Running to Standstill

Photo: Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government

“Budget 2018 does not do enough to resolve the Traveller accommodation crisis,” said Martin Collins, Pavee Point Director today.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy yesterday announced a €3 million increase in the annual budget for Traveller accommodation bringing it up to €12 million in 2018.

Minister Murphy said this funding will support a range of Traveller specific accommodation schemes and deliver 110 homes in 2018.

“While any increase in funding is to be welcomed, 110 new units of accommodation for a community of 40,000 Travellers in totally inadequate,” said Martin Collins.

“This is running to standstill,” he said.  “A hundred a ten new units, if indeed these are to be new units, would not even cover new family formation within the Traveller community.

Massive Overcrowding

“We have a massive overcrowding situation on Traveller sites and group housing schemes that is impacting on people’s health.”

But this is not solely a budgeting issue. “The biggest problem is that Traveller funding is not utilised by local authorities.  There is a serious problem in the system,â” said Mr. Collins.

“Local authority money for Traveller accommodation gets sent back unspent each year. This is outrageous.”

Local authorities must be held to account

Pavee Point is calling on Minister Murphy to hold local authorities to account in 2018 in the provision of Traveller specific accommodation.

Meanwhile, an independent review of the 1998 Traveller Accommodation Act is due to begin before Christmas and report in June 2018.

For further information on Traveller accommodation click here.