Homes empty as Ukrainian refugees are forced to sleep in tents

The HOUSES originally intended to house the Ukrainians are empty while the refugees sleep in tents.

Hundreds of properties, promised to help those fleeing war, are caught in a traffic jam of paperwork, either withdrawn or deemed unsuitable. Only one in five properties pledged to help house refugees from Ukraine are now expected to actually be used for this purpose.

Some houses were removed from the list after inspection.

Others have not been allocated because they are in rural areas and access to a car is necessary, while some have yet to be checked by municipal inspectors.

Some county councils also said shared accommodation was not yet filled as they were waiting for the custody verification process to be completed.

The housing shortage has led to Ukrainian refugees being stranded at Dublin Airport, and the government is now scrambling to provide shelter for asylum seekers arriving in the state.

The refugees will be sent to the large tent city built on military land at Gormanston Camp in County Meath, which can accommodate several hundred people.

The Ministry of Justice will examine the factors that may have led to a significant increase in applications for international protection (IP).

Evictions are also expected to resume for the first time since the pandemic.

More than 40,000 people have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine after fleeing war.

At the same time, there has been a significant increase in the number of applicants for international protection.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the UK government’s Rwanda program may have led to an increase in the number of intellectual property applicants in Ireland.

“Ireland is resolute in its solidarity and support for Ukraine”

He made the comments after it emerged the country now suffered from a “serious shortage” of housing for Ukrainian refugees.

There will be a resumption of normal pre-pandemic immigration arrangements, such as the enforcement of deportation orders for unsuccessful intellectual property applications.

A government statement said this would follow due process and allow for all available legal remedies. Additionally, the Department of Justice is implementing an expedited decision-making process for intellectual property applicants from safe countries of origin.

The statement added: “Ireland is resolute in its solidarity and support for Ukraine and we honor our commitment to help those displaced by this horrific war.”

The Taoiseach has insisted that people fleeing wars will be prioritized in the asylum system after revealing that only 30 per cent of people at the Citywest refugee center in Dublin were Ukrainians.

It is feared that the situation could worsen, with the refugees being accommodated in student residences.

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Rows of tents at Gormanstown camp to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Rows of tents at Gormanstown camp to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

A Children’s Department spokesperson said Irish Red Cross records indicated there were 2,838 properties believed to be vacant across the country which could be used to house refugees.

However, they added: “Only 21% of pledges are expected to materialize as a high number have been withdrawn, are unreachable or deemed unsuitable.”

There are 6,550 alleged shared properties available, but the number of shared accommodation pledges that are withdrawn and uncountable is expected to be around 74%.

The Children’s Department has allocated vacant properties and shared pledges to local authorities and NGOs such as Peter McVerry, the International Organization for Migration and the Irish Red Cross.

To date, over 2,181 people have been matched with over 786 properties pledged. A department spokesperson said that is expected to increase.

“Implementing partners are working on a number of operational responses to activate the pledges. This includes operations at Citywest, Millstreet Cork, Ballyogan and other rest centers and hotels across the country,” the department said.

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