281. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of residents living in the Balseskin reception centre; the contracted capacity of same; the number of the residents of the Hatch Hall reception centre being transferred to Balseskin; if additional arrangements have been made for them there; if Hatch Hall residents are being moved to different reception centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26608/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Regretfully, due to circumstances outside the control of the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), Hatch Hall accommodation centre will close on 15 July 2019.
RIA is proactively engaging with residents to discuss their options in order to minimise disruption. This includes seeking to re-accommodate those still in the protection process within RIA's accommodation portfolio and providing residents with status/permission to remain with support from DePaul Ireland to move on from RIA accommodation and into mainstream housing.
The capacity of Hatch Hall is 220 residents and the current occupancy, as of 9th June, is 213 persons. 140 of these residents have been offered temporary accommodation in Balseskin Reception Centre. In addition, 38 residents with status/permission to remain are receiving assistance from DePaul Ireland, who are contracted by the Department, to find accommodation in the community.
Balseskin reception centre currently has a contracted capacity of 350. Its occupancy, as of 9 June 2019, was 294 persons. A new residential block is under construction in this reception centre and when construction has been completed in mid-July, the capacity of the centre will increase to 487. The additional capacity is necessary to respond to the increased number of persons claiming international protection.
A new, purpose-built health facility will open in the reception centre in the coming weeks and will be to the standard of all new HSE primary care facilities. The facility provides much-needed additional space and will accommodate a primary care team that includes nurses, doctors and psychologists. The facility will allow the health care team to address health issues while also accommodating infection control measures in an efficient manner. In addition, the facility will allow the HSE and others to provide group interventions. Visiting outside clinicians can also be facilitated in the new health facility.