September 22, 2022

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The Government is to issue a renewed call for accommodation for Ukrainian refugees amid increasing pressure on the State’s capacity to house new arrivals.

The appeal for new properties will seek premises that can accommodate at least 20 people and will allow for non-residential properties that can be repurposed, it is understood. They are likely to be sought for a period of up to six months.

The move comes as the Government seeks to find medium-term options to house people beyond hotels and other forms of emergency accommodation.

While about 1,450 pledged properties have now been Garda vetted and are receiving placements, the flow of people into the country and the low numbers of people exiting emergency accommodation to more sustainable options is increasing strain on the system.

Of the 33,600 people who have arrived in Ireland and are in need of accommodation, 24,660 are being provided for in serviced, emergency or repurposed settings, with further capacity coming from student accommodation and pledged properties. Upwards of 90 per cent of arrivals on a given day are now seeking accommodation, internal Government analysis shows.

A Government source said the accommodation will need to be self-catering or full board — including meals — and that there will be minimum standards to meet. It will have to have capacity for at least 20 people, as well have access nearby to medical care, education, shops and other facilities.

A spokesman for the Department of Integration said a notice will shortly be placed on the gov.ie website setting out the forms of accommodation that are being sought.

“The notice will set out the types of accommodation that the department is contracting, the standards required, and the process for expressions of interest,” he said.

More than 4,250 Ukrainians will have to leave student accommodation where they are staying by mid-September. The department has been holding briefings for accommodation providers, with local authorities informed about the plan to move people out of the student lodgings on Tuesday and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) briefed about the logistics of the move on Wednesday.

The department issued a circular to Ukrainian refugees in student accommodation this week telling them they will shortly be required to move out of student accommodation.

Refugees were told there was a “severe shortage of available accommodation” and that “in light of this very challenging situation, it is likely that you will move to another short-term accommodation option”.

“This may not be in the same location as your current accommodation and may not be of a similar standard,” they were told.

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