Homelessness funding underscores regional divide

October 10, 2017

Catherine Murphy TD, Social Democrats Co-Leader, has drawn attention to a PQ reply which details funding provided to homeless services on a regional basis which, she says, gives further meaning to some of the harrowing stories emanating from areas outside the Dublin region such as the ones highlighted on Morning Ireland yesterday.

The reply received by Deputy Murphy shows huge disparities between the funding amounts available to Dublin services when compared to other parts of the country.

Following the Morning Ireland report on homelessness in Limerick Catherine Murphy said:

“There is absolutely no doubt that Dublin is the epicentre of this housing emergency and as such requires more funding than other areas however the disparities are simply too staggering to be fair. For example, in 2017 Dublin received €68,627,075 whereas the Mid-West area of Ireland which includes Limerick City and County Council as well as Clare County Council only received €3,500,000.”

“There will have to be an urgent understanding that while Dublin absolutely requires significant resources, so too do other urban areas which are very much in the midst of this housing emergency too. This is a national crisis and recognition of that is vital if we are to have any hope of addressing the problems.”


10th Oct 2017

For Written Answer on : 20/09/2017
Question Number(s): 764 Question Reference(s): 39367/17
Department: Housing, Planning and Local Government


To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the specific allocation of funding which is allocated specifically for homelessness services by local authority; the amount self funded by each local authority; the personnel dedicated to homelessness services by local authority; the changes which have occurred in each year since 2014; the councils which are grouped in regional bands; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level.  My Department does not fund any service directly but provides funding to lead housing authorities on a regional basis.

Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.  The purposes for which housing authorities may incur expenditure in addressing homelessness are prescribed in Section 10 of the Housing Act 1988.  Under Section 10 funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources; however authorities may incur additional expenditure outside of the Section 10 funding arrangements.  Consequently, the information sought in the Question regarding the specific amounts allocated for homeless services by local authority and the amount self-funded by each local authority is not available in my Department.

The Section 10 Exchequer funding for the years 2014 – 2016 provided through my Department to housing authorities is set out on a regional basis in the table below .  A total amount of €97.8 million has been provided for in 2017.


Funding under Section 10 of the Housing Act, 1988 

Region 2014 2015 2016
Dublin €35,322,223 €48,270,201 €68,627,075
Mid-East €928,489 €1,716,245 €2,746,651
Midland €649,707 €805,995 €1,109,748
Mid-West €3,405,060 €3,499,898 €3,500,000
North-East €879,963 €996,849 €1,493,336
North-West €348,879 €387,643 €411,946
South-East €1,818,969 €2,394,619 €3,041,840
South-West €4,307,772 €5,000,686 €5,375,609
West €1,544,712 €1,698,834 €2,370,295

With regard to staffing in housing authorities, while my Department gathers quarterly data on staff numbers in local authorities this does not provide the detail sought in relation to homelessness staffing. Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001 it is a matter for each Chief Executive to make the organisational arrangements, including with regard to staffing, necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities; in this regard it is a matter for each individual Chief Executive to assign staff to specific functional areas.

Finally, for the purpose of homeless administration there are nine regions, and those regions along with their constituent housing authorities are as follows:


  • Dublin City Council
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
  • Fingal County Council
  • South Dublin County Council


  • Kildare County Council
  • Meath County Council
  • Wicklow County Council


  • Laois County Council
  • Longford County Council
  • Offaly County Council
  • Westmeath County Council


  • Clare County Council
  • Limerick City and County Council


  • Cavan County Council
  • Louth County Council
  • Monaghan County Council


  • Donegal County Council
  • Leitrim County Council
  • Sligo County Council


  • Carlow County Council
  • Kilkenny County Council
  • Tipperary County Council
  • Waterford City and County Council
  • Wexford County Council


  • Cork City
  • Cork County Council
  • Kerry County Council


  • Galway City Council
  • Galway County Council
  • Mayo County Council
  • Roscommon County Council