Review of Traveller Accommodation Law – Welcome

Pavee Point welcomes last week’s commitment from Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English, T.D to review the 1998 Traveller Accommodation Act.  This commitment was given through the National Traveller Accommodation Consultation Committee.

Traveller protests at lack of progress on Traveller accommodation, Galway, June 2017

‘We have been calling for a review of this legislation for some time,” said Martin Collins, Pavee Point Director, “As the present legislation is not delivering for Travellers – many of whom are in accommodation crisis.

“We need a new approach to solve this crisis and it is very important that this review be fully independent.

“We also look forward to examining the terms of reference of this review, ” said Martin Collins.

Minister English’s recent commitment at the National Traveller Consultation Committee to increase budgets in relation to Traveller accommodation is also welcomed.  However, budget levels remain totally inadequate.

During the economic crisis the Traveller accommodation budget was cut from €40 million to €4 million.  In 2017 the Traveller accommodation budget is at €9.3 million.

Pavee Point estimates that approximately 5,500 Travellers or 18.6% of the Traveller population are, in effect, homeless – but are excluded from Government statistics on homelessness.  The Housing Agency is carrying out a separate review of local authority spending on Traveller specific accommodation.