Call for audit of public land to aid refugee housing crisis

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Labour Councillor Declan Meenagh has called on the government to update its Housing for All strategy to take into account the housing needs of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland.

Concerned about the contingency tent village in Gormanstown, Co. Meath, he commented: “I was horrified to read the news last week that the ‘céad mile fáilte’ government propose to offer Ukrainian refugees may consist of prefabs and tents rather than a proper roof over their head. We need to develop a long term housing strategy for refugees to include long term, own home accommodation, not tents.”

He stated that an urgent audit of accessible state lands in urban areas should be carried out to identify its suitability for modular housing for refugees, adding: “There must be a whole of government response to the integration of Ukrainian refugees, from housing to education to integration. It is our obligation to ensure that they are supported and protected when they arrive in this state.”

He praised the Irish and in particular the people of Dublin who have “opened their hearts and their homes” to people fleeing Ukraine.  “Government should follow their lead and step up to the plate by providing a proper home for people and families.

“History tells us that refugees will not be able to return home quickly. We need a proper, well thought through long term housing strategy to ensure that we do not have children growing up in camps”, Councillor Meenagh concluded.

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