The Irish Red Cross has been unable to contact 36 per cent of the people who initially mortgaged their homes to take in Ukrainian refugees.
he Secretary-General Liam O’Dwyer said there were over 24,000 pledges in total.
“Some people by mistake, there are duplicates in the system, that would be like 671 and then between people that were unreachable, and that’s a pretty big percentage of people that were unreachable, it’s about 36 percent,” he said he .
“That means we called several times to get in touch, first to check the details of the pledge and then to agree if they were willing to take a refugee. We try to call three times, we’ve also tried on Saturdays if someone is at work and sometimes it just doesn’t work.”
The Irish Red Cross is now sending emails to people who cannot be reached by phone.
“We have sent emails to a significant number of people and we have gotten back 9,000 so far, most of whom were both unavailable and people we had not yet contacted. We are now able to follow up on some of them,” he told RTÉ’s Drivetime.
Mr O’Dwyer said the details of 2,400 mortgaged vacant properties have now been handed over to the Department for Integration, which handles refugee housing.
It is believed that up to 50% of the accommodation promises received by the Irish Red Cross have not been honoured.
A number of pledges were also withdrawn by families who had changed their minds or felt it meant they could not afford higher electricity bills.
Public Expenditure Secretary Michael McGrath told a news conference last week that “the Government will match the generosity of the Irish people in taking in Ukrainian refugees”.
However, he admitted over the weekend that discussions on the design of such a program had not yet started.
Mr O’Dwyer said offering accommodation in your home “should not come at a cost to any host”.
“The offer we are asking for is a voluntary offer by people, but any refugees walking in would also be made aware that they would have to make a contribution in terms of electricity bills or food bills, that’s part of the promised scheme that there is.” he said.
Garda review of these shared properties involving children began yesterday.
Mr O’Dwyer added: “We are now moving on to screening people as this is for a much larger group of people for the community accommodation and we have started that process.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/irish-red-cross-unable-to-contact-36pc-of-families-who-pledged-their-homes-to-accommodate-refugees-41575685.html The Irish Red Cross is unable to contact 36 per cent of families who have mortgaged their homes to house refugees