Figures show that over 500 homes for refugees have not yet been allocated or are not viable

More than 500 properties allocated to local authorities to house Ukrainian refugees are currently empty.

In some districts less than half of the housing deemed viable has been occupied, while in others only 6 percent of the available properties have been occupied.

There are around 9,000 vacant and presumably available shared flats for asylum seekers, but figures provided by district councils show that in most areas less than half of the mortgaged properties have been found suitable.

Hundreds of offers were also withdrawn or the property owners could not be reached. Sluggish controls and verification procedures also affect the ability of refugees to take in refugees.

Although the Irish Red Cross (IRC) received more than 25,000 offers to house refugees following the Russian invasion, a significant proportion of them have now failed. The actual number of commitments originally made may also be lower because some properties were offered more than once.

The Department of Children has allocated available plots of land to local authorities and NGOs to house refugees – but the process has not been easy.

IRC chairman Pat Carey said some local authorities are not as quick to act as others when it comes to coordinating inspections of shelters promised to Ukrainian refugees.

In Co Kildare 131 accommodations were allocated but only 33 were found viable and only two were occupied.

Wicklow County Council said only 68 of the 128 pledged homes were suitable and 22 of those were occupied so far.

Not all local authorities responded and some said it was up to the Department of Children or International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) to deal with inquiries on the matter.

Some county councils are yet to review the properties they have been allocated and others are struggling to fill available accommodation as they are in rural areas where a car is required.

There are currently 44 vacancies in Waterford, 33 in Mayo, 60 in Tipperary, 39 in Wexford, 43 in Co Cork, 50 in Louth, 28 in Carlow, five in Leitrim and Longford, two in Galway City, 30 in Co Galway, 22 in Fingal, Dublin, 22 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, 16 in Westmeath and 12 in Laois.

In Dublin, Fingal County Council said it had been provided with details of 106 promised accommodations, but following an initial assessment only 36 were viable and 14 have been allocated to date.

Mayo County Council said 20 properties are currently in use, but about 12 require work or inspection and 21 are available.

190 vacant mortgaged properties were made available to Cork County Council for evaluation, 142 of which were either withdrawn or unprofitable. Of the 48 available, five have been allocated, 15 are currently being reconciled and the remainder undergoing further evaluation.

Galway City Council had mortgaged 40 properties and of the 15 found viable, 13 were allocated.

According to Louth, 26 of the 50 assumed vacant properties – including two mobile homes – are due to be appraised over the next two weeks.

Limerick City and County Council said a further 144 beds will be available for Ukrainians on temporary protection status from Monday.

Ukrainians arriving in Ireland are currently being forced to sleep on inflatable mattresses in an old Dublin airport terminal as state-provided accommodation is full. The Citywest Transit Hub is at capacity, with a tented camp for up to 200 people due to open in Gormanston, Co Meath on Monday.

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman said the number of people fleeing Ukraine slowed between April and late June but has seen a spike in recent weeks as the Russian military attacks civilian areas.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also said the number of non-Ukrainians seeking refuge in Ireland has almost doubled since before the pandemic. Figures show that over 500 homes for refugees have not yet been allocated or are not viable

Fry Electronics Team

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