WATERFORD City & County Council has provided housing in the locality for around 100 Syrians.
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 were given an allocation of refugees to accommodate based on existing population and demand for social housing.
As reported in The Munster Express last year, Waterford’s allocation under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme was 100 individual refugees.
This allocation consisted of 27 family units.
Local Councillors were briefed in private last October on the local authority’s obligation to find accommodation for the refugees who were residing in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre at Clonea Strand Hotel.
Housing Director Ivan Grimes confirmed to The Munster Express this week that the Council has recently completed the housing of the Syrian families who were earmarked for Waterford under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
“The Council would like to acknowledge the co-operation and support of all the Government Departments and State Agencies involved in the resettlement project in Waterford,” he said.
In deciding where to accommodate the families, Waterford City & County Council took account of 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 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.
Asked by The Munster Express if the resettlement programme would place a strain on the Council’s existing housing list, Mr Grimes said it was important to place the resettlement programme “in context”.
“We provide between 800 and 900 housing solutions each year through a range of our existing housing stock, new units, Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and other schemes while our waiting list is currently 1,596,” he said.
“The overall impact of providing accommodation for 27 families is therefore not significant.”