467. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of dwellings allocated by each local authority to meet the housing needs of persons seeking asylum here and persons that are classified as refugees on an annual basis from 2014 to date, by year, in tabular form; the number of dwellings by local authority, by year in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1319/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am unable to provide the figures requested by the Deputy. The allocation of dwellings by local authorities is a matter for the relevant local authorities and as such does not come within my remit. The responsibility of my Department relates to those who present here seeking international protection (i.e. asylum and subsidiary protection), to whom accommodation and coverage for certain other needs must be provided to those without the resources to do so, while they are awaiting a decision on their status.
There is no obligation on an applicant to accept the offer of accommodation. Some choose to live with friends or family living in the wider community or to source and provide for their own private accommodation. There is no restriction on the freedom of movement of applicants throughout the State.
Persons who have been granted refugee status, subsidiary protection or a permission to remain are being assisted in transitioning from accommodation centres to housing. Work is underway with the NGO community, housing agencies, local authorities and religious groups to provide assistance to these persons. The Jesuit Refugee Service and the Irish Refugee Council have also both received funding support in this regard. There are currently 700 such persons in accommodation centres, comprising families and individuals, which is placing pressure on the system in terms of providing necessary accommodation to newly arrived individuals claiming international protection.