Finding somewhere to live is ‘biggest challenge’ of direct provision



A report from the Irish Refugee Council urges the State to do more to help people get on with their lives when their status is granted.

It looked at the lives of 22 individual living in direct provision and found people were mostly left to fend for themselves once they received their status.

The report recommends that former asylum seekers should be entitled to a regular social welfare allowances to help them build their lives in Ireland.

One of the authors of the report, Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, said most asylum seekers continued to receive the €19.10 weekly payment even after their status was granted.

“Although discretionary exceptional needs payments can be made available, most of the study’s participants did not receive them,” said Dr Ní Raghallaigh.

“As a result, people were often forced to borrow money and get into debt in order to be able to move out of direct provision.”

Blessing Moyo, a former asylum seeker who worked as a peer researcher on the project, spoke of her own difficulties in transitioning from directprovision.

“If you mention to the landlord that you’re on rent supplement they want nothing to do with you, which to me is discrimination,” she said.

Ms Moyo is a mother of three, originally from Zimbabwe, who has been indirect provision for nearly eight years.

She got her papers in March but can not find a landlord to accept her rent allowance.

Dr Ní Raghallaigh said what they saw was the negative impact of people left in the direct provision system for far too long.

“The State has a duty to ensure that those granted status have the necessary resources and supports to integrate into local communities and to overcome the many difficulties they face because of the direct provisionsystem,” said Dr Ní Raghallaigh.

The report calls for those leaving direct provision to be given support akin to that provided to programme refugees.

One of the authors of the report is Gabriel Wenyi Mendes, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who has lived in direct provision for four years.

“I studied accountancy back home, but I can’t do anything here,” said Mr Wenyi. “I am stuck. Where I live in Waterford, there are about 10 people who have got their papers but have nowhere to go.”

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