Aideen Roche Communications & Campaigns Officer

Aideen Roche Communications & Campaigns Officer

The Road Home: How you can access funds and advice for repatriation of our vulnerable Irish Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Westminster Wednesday 17th February 2016 Karen Mc Hugh Safe Home Ireland Most countries send out oil or iron, steel or gold, or some other crop, but Ireland has had only one export and that is its people. John F. Kennedy on his presidential visit to Ireland, June 1963 Safe Home Ireland

Founded in 2000, Safe Home Ireland provides key services to anyone thinking of moving or returning to Ireland. Our head office is in Mulranny, Co. Mayo, with outreach offices in Galway and Limerick. Our vision To ensure that anyone considering of returning or moving to Ireland is given every opportunity to make an informed decision Our mission To act as the link for Irish emigrants both at home and abroad by providing advice, information, guidance and supports for those seeking permanent repatriation as well as those who chose to stay in their adopted country. Our Work We provide an information and advice service to anyone (regardless of age or

circumstances) who may be contemplating returning or moving to Ireland. We assist qualifying older Irish born emigrants to return to secure accommodation in Ireland. We liaise with Housing providers in Ireland to explore appropriate secure housing options for qualifying older Irish emigrants seeking to return to social housing.

We carry out Home visits to Safe Home housing applicants throughout the UK. We offer Outreach and advocacy service to people who have returned home both through and independent of Safe Home We act as a link for Irish emigrants both at home and abroad (via our Newsletter) to those seeking permanent repatriation as well as those who chose to stay in their adopted country.

We work in partnership with all relevant agencies at home and abroad to offer a professional and person centered service to our client group. Advice & Informtion Housing Assistance ** Advocacy & Outreach Connection

Safe Home Qualifying Criteria (for housing) Older Irish born emigrants living abroad Aged 57 years and over Capable of Independent living Living in rented accommodation abroad and unable to provide accommodation for themselves (from their own income/savings) on return to Ireland NOTE WE PROVIDE ADVICE, INFORMATION AND REFERRAL FOR ALL OTHERS WHO CONTACT OUR SERVICE. Delivering on impact

We have secured the Amendment to the Capital Assistance Scheme in 2001, which for the first time enshrined the right to housing options for older Irish emigrants wishing to return. We worked with the Department of Social Protection to ease the registration of PPS numbers for qualifying older returning emigrants before they return to live in Ireland. Housing bodies throughout Ireland accept our Home Visit Assessment Report (of UK applicants) as part of their application process.

We worked with the AIB bank to secure an arrangement that allows for expedition of opening bank accounts once a Safe Home applicant returns home. Irelands responseto2015 current crisis Key Outcomes We dealt with 732 new queries

We visited Housing Association schemes, and compiled Information factsheets on the developments bringing the number of schemes on our comprehensive countrywide social housing register up to 263. We processed 60 new Housing Applications bringing the total number of active applications registered on our housing waiting list to 230 applications (covering 258 individuals)

We facilitated 28 referrals to Local Authority housing waiting lists in Ireland We carried out 62 home visits to Safe Home applicants throughout the UK in 2015. Accommodation was secured by 99 people, bringing the total number of people assisted in their return home, to 1856, since the inception of Safe Home Global Irish: Irelands Diaspora Policy 2015 The Global Irish: Irelands Diaspora Policy aims to nurture and develop the unique

relationship the country has with its emigrants, those of Irish descent and those with an affinity to Ireland .. the policy lays out actions planned to drive and foster this international engagement which is the envy of the world I want to see them play their part in building our economy bringing home their experience, particularly in some of the jobs that are now being created. Enda Kenny In 2016 the Irish Government are encouraging 70,000 emigrants to return to live in Ireland. Safe Home Ireland have concerns that vulnerable Irish not included in this category Government Messages Government Messages

Government Messages Messages from abroad Voting for Emigrants Messages from abroad (Australia) Challenges/gaps for returnees Access to social/private rented housing for younger people and families

Housing and supports for people requiring nursing/residential care (also an opportunity) Limited access to supported housing for vulnerable returnees (those with distinct mental health, addiction or other support needs) Employment (particularly outside urban areas); Public transport (particularly outside Dublin)

Practical supports (as outlined in Diaspora Policy) Habitual Residence Condition (and issues arising); obtaining PPS number; obtaining medical card/care; taking your vehicle back (VRT); Restriction (of most funding) of 32 county approach (also an opportunity)

Visas for partners who do not hold Irish passport can be challenging/complicated Housing current homeless crisis (particularly in cities); more difficult to access social housing; high costs/restricted availability of suitable private rented in larger urban areas Do your homework first! Seek advice from a local Advice Service in your area (Irish or other) before you leave as moving to Ireland is not for everyone

Contact specialist services in Ireland before and after you come home (e.g. Safe Home, Citizens Information Centres, Cross Care Migrant Project) Bring as much documentation as possible as you will need this for practically everything to do healthcare, housing, opening a bank account, benefits & entitlements etc Ensure housing/accommodation booked in advance; plan IF taking your car or furniture home

Expect Change and Manage your expectations. You're not returning to the same country - Ireland has changed and progressed to a diverse and global society Our Plans for 2016 Develop new website, marketing and publicity materials E-bulletin from April 2016 primarily for Agencies Working towards a Quality Mark (possibly PQASSO) Developing stronger partnership with agencies abroad and in Ireland Policy and campaigning (with partners) on implantation of Diaspora Policy Explore other areas of unmet need for returning emigrants Useful contacts in Ireland

Crosscare Migrant Project - provides an information, advocacy and referral services for intending, existing and returning emigrants. 1 Cathedral Street, Dublin 1; Tel:- 00 353 (1) 873 2844; Email:[email protected]; Website:- Citizens Information Centres (CIC) on a county by county basis, use the FIND A CENTRE search on: Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas - provides support for families and prisoners serving sentences aborad. Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants, Columba Centre, Maynooth Co. Kildare; Tel: 00 353 (1) 5053154; Email: [email protected]; Website: Right of Place - offers support, advocacy, outreach and other services to survivors of industrial institutions. 5 Parnell St., Waterford. Tel: 00 353 (21) 4551377; Email [email protected] Safe Home Ireland produce a monthly Newsletter which can be downloaded from our website at A quarterly E-bulletin will be issued in April 2016, targeting agencies/service providers. For further advice, information or support contact Safe Home Ireland


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