284. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if accommodation at a centre (details supplied) includes three bunk beds in one room for six applicants; the amount paid for this accommodation; and his views on whether this is humane and adequate accommodation for the persons there. [21352/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Currently, all accommodation sourced by my Department for persons seeking international protection must meet the requirements of Section 63 of the 1966 Housing Act, which sets out the minimum space requirements per person in bedrooms. New National Standards for accommodation provided to persons in the protection process will further improve the quality of life for applicants by providing a framework for the development of person-centred, high quality, safe and effective services and supports for residents of accommodation centres. The National Standards will require that all accommodation provided to persons seeking international protection is clean, safe, properly furnished and complies with all statutory requirements. These standards, which will be adopted shortly, have been prepared by officials from my Department, in conjunction with officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, representatives of NGOs and current residents.
The development of National Standards was one of the main recommendations of the Report of the Working Group into Improvements in the Protection Process, which was chaired by Judge Bryan McMahon.
The implementation of the National Standards in the future, combined with ongoing improvements such as the roll-out of cooking facilities and independent living through the current procurement process, demonstrate the continual improvements being made to the accommodation provided to persons seeking international protection in Ireland.
Having regard to the information supplied by the Deputy, I have asked officials from my Department to visit the centre within the next ten working days and carry out an examination of the premises to ensure that accommodation is in compliance with the requirements of the Housing Act.