Government seeks urgent refugee accommodation

The Department of Justice is prepared to spend €13m to find urgent accommodation for the increasing number of people coming into the country seeking refuge.

The department, through the Reception and Integration Agency has invited expressions of interest from people interested in “providing accommodation and ancillary services on an urgent and emergency basis in the State, for persons seeking international protection”.

The deadline for tenders or requests to participate is January 26.

It said the call was in response to an “urgent and increasing demand”, adding that any contract awarded will be for a 12-month period only.

The properties selected will be in addition to those which are already under contract with the Department of Justice.

“A public tendering procedure will take place in 2018 to cover accommodation needs arising from mid-2018 onwards,” it said.

The stipulation from the department is that premises required include the likes of hotels and guesthouses — locations which can accommodate at least 80 people and which are “reasonably close to all services, shops, schools, transport etc”.

It said the expressions of interest would be assessed “on the basis of conformity with the McMahon Report and the time required before a premises can be used to accommodate persons”.

The McMahon Report recommends a number of basic requirements in a number of areas including:

  • The size of rooms — they need to be big enough to allow occupants to live and sleep.
  • Cooking facilities and private living space in so far as is practicable.
  • Recreational space for children and young people.
  • Necessary security arrangements.
  • Access to after-school or homework clubs.
  • Links with the local community

As of the end of November last year, Reception and Integration Agency accommodation was 91.9% full with 4,920 of a total of 5,352 places occupied.

The Department of Justice recently announced the award of almost €500,000 to seven projects nationwide to support the labour-market integration of female refugees over 2018.

The schemes are intended to improve the employability of female refugees as well as providing targeted supports that promote access to and participation in education, training employment and self-employment.


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