353. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the transition process for moving asylum seekers from temporary accommodation to direct provision; if the person in question is consulted; if they are moved to a location geographically close to the temporary accommodation; the way in which the health and well-being needs of asylum seekers are addressed within this transition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28278/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Since September 2018, due to insufficient capacity within the Reception and Integration Agency's (RIA) accommodation portfolio, RIA has contracted for the use of emergency accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. As of 16th June 2019, a total of 817 applicants were staying in emergency accommodation.
The duration of stay in the emergency accommodation is to be for as short a time as possible prior to being transferred to a contracted RIA accommodation centre when places become available. Family composition, ages of children and medical needs are factors taken into account when allocating to a RIA accommodation centre to ensure that the most suitable accommodation is assigned, notwithstanding the current capacity issues.
When international protection applicants are provided with emergency accommodation, they are advised that this accommodation is on a temporary basis and that they will be moved to a RIA accommodation centre as soon as possible. RIA notify international protection applicants in advance of their transfer to a RIA accommodation centre from temporary emergency accommodation.
Additionally, RIA is liaising closely with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the HSE to facilitate appropriate service provision to them while in emergency accommodation.