For Oral Answer on : 13/10/2022
Question Number(s): 125 Question Reference(s): 50362/22
Department: Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the number of pledges made by members of the public to house Ukrainian refugees; the number of these that have been activated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine on 24 February, and the invoking of the temporary protection Directive by the European Union shortly afterwards, my Department has worked intensively as part of the cross-governmental response to the Ukraine crisis.
The operational challenges brought about by responding to the conflict are significant. Our country has never experienced an influx of displaced persons like the one that we have seen over the past months.
My Department’s role is focused on the immediate, short-term accommodation needs of those who have fled here. To date, more than 51,000 people have arrived in Ireland and in excess of 40,000 of those have been referred to this Department seeking accommodation from the State.
Overseeing provision of accommodation on this scale during this timeframe for all those who require it remains immensely challenging. Due to the urgent need to source accommodation, a broad range of accommodation types have been contracted.
The priority is to place people fleeing the conflict in safe and secure accommodation.
The Government is committed to delivering a humanitarian response to welcome people seeking protection in Ireland as part of the European Union’s overall response. The scale of response to this crisis has been unprecedented and Irish people have displayed an incredible level of generosity in their support and pledges of accommodation.
I can inform the Deputy that my Department has been proactively engaging with the Local Authorities and NGOs over the last five months to distribute suitable properties for allocation to beneficiaries. A total of 10,587 potential pledges have been forwarded by my Department to Local Authorities and NGOs for activation (3,342 vacant and 7,245 shared). A large number (5,377, 51%) have now been excluded because they have been withdrawn, uncontactable or otherwise unsuitable.
1,718 have been taken up by beneficiaries with a split of 63% shared pledges and 37% vacant properties. Over 4,500 BOTPs have now been placed in pledged accommodation by implementing partners and this number increases daily. Private pledges also take place.
Approximately 3,390 pledges are still in progress with Implementation Partners and every effort will be made to activate them if suitable. While some have been assessed as viable and available, it is reported that a significant number are located in rural locations with less access to transport links or social supports such as schools and GPs and as such there is some hesitancy to move to them.