‘Imagination’ is needed in order to ensure that Ukrainians arriving into Ireland from the war in their country are provided with suitable accommodation, Dundalk Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú has said.
The deputy said he had been speaking to Minister Roderic O’Gorman in the last number of days and had urged upon him the importance of ensuring that housing capacity is ramped up as quickly as possible.
He said that he spoke to Minister O’Gorman about the possibility of payments for people who are offering rooms for Ukrainians, within the Louth area, and spoke to him about the increased costs associated with it.
Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘Huge imagination is needed to ensure that we can provide decent accommodation to those who are coming from Ukraine. The situation there continues to force people to flee their homes and they are coming here looking for our help.
‘I spoke to Minister O’Gorman in the last few days and I have raised this with An Taoiseach last week. The problem is that we are trying to provide accommodation in the midst of a massive housing crisis, where we have failed to deliver homes for years.
‘The government needs to look at everything. I have been told about homes that were offered as accommodation for Ukrainians that were turned down by the authorities because there was only one bathroom and there were initial difficulties with council tenants who offered rooms, which hopefully have been resolved now.
‘Surely a proper home is better than some of the alternatives? While there will be a need for transitionary, short-term solutions, of course, and I am aware that Louth County Council have been looking at all available places, not just their own stock, including former health settings.
‘Holiday homes may also need to be looked at.
‘I welcome the fact the government is speaking to representatives of the construction industry. We need creative build solutions that can be delivered quickly, not only for the people who are fleeing here, but also for the housing crisis which has blighted this State for years.
‘The Taoiseach has indicated that there may be a small payment for those who are opening their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war. This needs to be facilitated as soon as possible’.