Just one of 35 properties recently bought by the State is being used to house Ukrainian refugees or asylum seekers, the Irish Mirror has learned.
This is despite severe constraints on the refugee accommodation system with some international protection seekers left with nowhere to stay.
In November, we reported Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman spent €5.9million on 29 properties as part of the Government’s pledge to wind up Direct Provision.
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At the time, his officials confirmed that just one was being used as the other 28 required work”. A spokesman said: “One of the 35 properties is occupied with Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTP) [Ukrainian refugees] and managed by Peter McVerry Trust.
“A process to transition the BOTP living in the accommodation is underway and it is envisaged that the property will be available from March.”
Hitting out at the delay, Aontu leader Peadar Toibin told the Irish Mirror: “There is a shocking lag time in Government action when it comes to making accommodation available to people seeking refuge
“Many people talk about whether there should be a cap on the amount of refugees coming in.
“Government incompetency, inaction and inability is in itself a cap in relation to what this country can do.”
But Speaking on Morning Ireland yesterday, Mr O’Gorman warned that pressure on accommodation will continue.
He said in a “worse case scenario”, 19,000 people would be left without a place.
Minister O’Gorman added: “It will be important in the medium term for parts of the State to provide additional accommodation so we can accommodate international applicants.
“Going into spring, we need to have contingencies in place in case significant numbers of hotels revert to tourism and. indeed. in case there’s a significant spring offensive in Ukraine, and we see increases in numbers arriving."
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