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refugee accommodation

Student accommodation to house thousands of refugees for second summer

Up to 5,000 empty student beds will be used to accommodate refugees from Ukraine and other countries.

UP TO 5,000 empty student accommodation beds will be used to house refugees over the summer period, it has been agreed. 

A Cabinet subcommittee on Ukraine met this afternoon to discuss a range of issues, including the pressure on accommodating refugees from Ukraine and other countries arriving into Ireland. 

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman updated the committee on his department’s  plans to utilise thousands of empty student accommodation beds over the summer. 

The use of this accommodation is planned for both Ukrainian refugees and international protection applicants.

Last summer, around 3,000 refugees stayed in student accommodation on college campuses across Ireland.

However, upon the return of students in September, they were moved out to Citywest outside Dublin, other hotels, B&Bs and some institutional accommodation.

The minister also provided an update today on the efforts which have been underway to provide shelter to those who the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) had not been able to immediately accommodate.

Four month low 

The figure of those now unaccommodated has fallen from just under 600 to 61 today, the lowest level since early February.

Minister O’Gorman emphasised that further intense work to source additional accommodation for projected arrivals over the summer months is underway.

The committee was also updated on the care being provided by Tusla to unaccompanied children who have arrived from Ukraine and through the international protection process. Tusla is caring for 184 children at present.

Plans are also being examined to house over 170 asylum seekers in tented accommodation on the site of the former Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.

The lands at the former hospital are currently being transferred to the Land Development Agency (LDA), which has recently been granted planning permission to develop 852 social and affordable homes on the site.

The LDA is a commercial, State-sponsored body established to coordinate land within public control that could provide affordable and social housing.

It’s understood that preliminary investigations are underway at the site, facilitated by the LDA.

While the final configuration has not been decided, initial projections suggest that the site could accommodate up to 176 international protection applicants.

It’s believed that the site is intended to be used for a three month period and that temporary tented structures could be erected in the coming weeks.

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