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More self-isolation places for homeless people secured, says minister

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy said more places will be secured as needed.

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy said that he is working with homeless services to prepare for Covid-19.
Housing minister Eoghan Murphy said that he is working with homeless services to prepare for Covid-19.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE DEPARTMENT OF Housing has said that local councils have secured extra emergency beds for any homeless people who need to self-isolate because of Covid-19. 

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy said this evening that he had been working with local authorities to provide emergency accommodation to address one of the major concerns of homeless services in recent weeks – to ensure that homeless people with confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus have somewhere to isolate. 

In recent days, homeless services have been taking drastic measures to protect homeless people from the coronavirus. 

An already vulnerable population, many of whom suffer from health problems, homeless people often share rooms in emergency accommodation or cramped hotel rooms for families, making it difficult to realistically self-isolate for anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

“Because of early action we have been in a position to secure facilities across the country for self-isolation that can be used if required,” Murphy said in a statement. 

We will continue to secure more places as needed and discussions with other state sectors are ongoing in this regard. I know that many people and families currently accessing emergency accommodation will be worried for themselves and their families. I want to assure these households that their health and safety is a priority.

Last week, Murphy had said that he would ensure that “all necessary supports and measures” would be provided to ensure local authorities and housing organisations can work through the crisis.

This evening, he said that extra funding was available for homeless services running self-isolation accommodation

Murphy said that he was in “continuous contact” with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and local councils across the country.

He said that we would be speaking with NGOs next week to discuss the preparations put in place so far for the spread of coronavirus. 

Murphy himself has been self-isolating for the past week since returning home from visiting family abroad.

Murphy made the trip before any travel advice was issue, a spokesperson for the minister told TheJournal.ie.

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