Tuesday, 17 May 2022
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
549. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if the Royal City of Dublin Hospital on Baggot Street, Dublin 4 could be upgraded to accommodate Ukrainian refugees. [24430/22]
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine on February 24, and the invoking of the Temporary Protection Directive shortly thereafter, my Department has been working intensively as part of the cross-Government response to the Ukraine crisis.
My Department is focused on providing short term accommodation to people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Approximately 20 000 people have been placed in International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) accommodation to date.
My Department has contracted approximately 16,500 beds in hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, hostels, commercial self-catering accommodation and certain other repurposed settings with additional capacity also being pursued through Airbnb, accommodation pledged by the general public, state-owned or private properties which may be suitable for short-term accommodation, accommodation belonging to voluntary bodies, large adapted centres such as the Millstreet Green Glens Arena, religious properties and Local Authority facilities. The Department is also investigating other options such as student accommodation for the summer period and holiday homes. Given the number of people arriving, sourcing suitable accommodation continues to be a challenge.
In seeking to address immediate accommodation needs, safety and security are the paramount considerations.
My Department sits on the cross-sectoral and cross-departmental Humanitarian Crisis Housing Taskforce which is chaired by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and which is leading cross government consideration and development of medium and long-term accommodation solutions. I understand that potentially suitable properties such as the Royal City of Dublin Hospital will be considered by this taskforce as a solution to the medium and longer-term accommodation needs of those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Advancing these properties will involve further engagement with all relevant stakeholders.