Over 1,200 asylum seekers will have to leave hotels by mid-April
Around 85 Ukrainians and 29 International Protection applicants are arriving in Ireland every day. Papers submitted for the Cabinet Committee on Ukraine will state that priority needs to be given to accommodate women and children.
Situation with accommodation becomes worse also because many hotels providing accommodation to Ukrainian refugees are offered lower rates under new contracts.
New rates would amount to a cut of €1,500 per week or €6,000 a month, even when taking into account contributions which their Ukrainian guests must now make directly to them under the new contract. And according to the fact that accommodation providers are private businesses, they can choose whether or not to contract with the Department to provide accommodation.
Under the new contracts adult guests must now contribute €10 per day for food, and the contribution for children is €5 per day. Personal laundry and pet charges are also no longer covered under the new contracts.
Two more hoteliers whose contracts are due to expire soon confirmed that while they have not received their new terms yet, they had heard from other hoteliers that the new rates were “a lot less favourable”.
“I need to see what the new contract is but I would definitely consider moving away from it (continuing to provide accommodation to Ukrainians) at this stage,” one hotelier who is still awaiting payments dating back to mid-November said.
Another hotelier has raised concerns that the new rates may encourage accommodation providers to “stack” guests, by placing groups of unrelated single adults in rooms together for example.
Senator Conway said that he is already aware of instances of this happening. “This poses serious health and safety concerns,” Mr Conway said. “I am deeply concerned that small little box rooms in hotels, which are absolutely suitable for a single person or a couple are now going to have bunk beds with four or five people in them.”
What about modular homes
The Government has approved the construction of 700 rapid build homes with the potential to house up to 2,800 individuals in family units to be built on State-owned land.
This year Minister Roderic O’Gorman said that rapid-build homes were expected to be ready by Easter. But a spokesperson for the Department for Integration said that the timeframe for the installation of the rapid build homes has recently been recalibrated.
The statement said that it is expected that residents will begin to move into the first homes in early June.