Fears that housing plans for Ukrainian refugees could feed into ant refugee sentiment

Government plans to bring vacant social housing back into use for those fleeing the war in Ukraine could feed into anti-refugee sentiment.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is briefing his cabinet colleagues today on a series of measures to accommodate refugees, including the conversion of vacant buildings, activating planning permissions which haven’t been started yet, and an extension of the voids programme which refurbishes vacant social housing units.

However Doireann Breathnach, Chair of the Irish Refugee Council, says that could cause problems.

“Why haven’t these houses been looked at before now?

“It is a dangerous game, and I think it is unhelpful to pit the housing needs of refugees against the housing needs of people already in Ireland.

“It really does play straight into the hands of those people on the extremes that would seek to promote anti refugee sentiment.”


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