Refugee Rehousing Fears

pexels-photo-145665WATERFORD City & County Council must immediately find accommodation within the locality for 100 Syrian refugees.
Councillors were briefed in private recently on the local authority’s obligation to find accommodation for the refugees who are currently residing in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre at Clonea Strand Hotel.
The Munster Express understands that the issue has generated significant concern amongst some Councillors who, while agreeing that it’s a humanitarian issue, fear over the potential delays which may be caused for those already on the local authority’s housing waiting list.
In 2015, the Irish Government gave a commitment to accept 4,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria and to accommodate them under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
Local authorities have been given an allocation of refugees to accommodate based on existing population and demand for social housing.
Waterford’s allocation under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme is 100 individual refugees – this allocation comprises 27 family units.
Director of Services (Housing) Ivan Grimes briefed Councillors at the recent meeting.
He explained that in deciding where to accommodate the families, Waterford City & County Council will have regard to a number of factors including availability of housing and access to services such as public transport, childcare and schools, health care and language and other training supports.
Waterford City & County Council has established an Inter-Agency Group of State agencies to ensure the families can access the full range of public services and supports they will require.
The Group comprises the Council, the Health Services Executive, the Department of Social Protection, Tusla, the Education and Training Board, the Waterford Childcare Committee and the Department of Justice. (See News 2 for more)

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