Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien
The housing minister’s plan, which goes to Cabinet tomorrow, seeks to speed-up the assessment and refurbishment of both State and privately owned large vacant properties which could house refugees.
It is understood that 529 buildings are currently under consideration and more than 100 are viewed as having the capacity to come on-stream in the “very short term”.
It is believed Mr O’Brien’s memo seeks to streamline the management of how such large vacant properties can be processed and become operational.
An inter-departmental committee has already been established to oversee the management of the plan.
Via RTÉ News:
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is to bring a number of options to Cabinet today on medium and long-term housing options in response to the refugee crisis.
RTÉ News understands that this includes an expanded “voids programme” whereby vacant social homes will be brought back into use.
The measures will also include an expanded acquisition programme where local authorities will have greater flexibilities to acquire certain homes.
The minister will also consider using emergency powers, already available to him under existing legislation, whereby certain planning and procurement requirements can be exempted, where required, to speed up delivery in emergency situations.
Vacant social homes to be used to house Ukrainian refugees (RTE)
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government is not contemplating a cap on the number of Ukrainian refugees arriving into Ireland.
Mr Martin said Ireland’s efforts were part of a Europe-wide response to the crisis, and while the country is not a military power, it can offer humanitarian assistance to protect women, children and vulnerable people.
He said Ireland’s response is still in the emergency stage, and it must be across all Government departments and agencies to ensure optimal co-ordination of the crisis.
It cannot be left to just one agency alone, he added.
Govt not contemplating cap on Ukrainian refugees – Taoiseach (RTE)