Compulsory rental powers could provide refugee accommodation

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
21 April 2022
  • Corporate rentals should be required to rent for temporary period

Following reports that more than 50% of accommodation pledges for Ukrainian refugees has fallen through, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan urged government to consider bringing in temporary emergency compulsory rental powers.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Government has been on the backfoot on this issue from the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Labour has repeatedly called for an all of government response to providing for Ukrainian refugees, encompassing education, integration and housing.

“With a clear and immediate need for housing for refugees, I am calling on government to bring in temporary emergency compulsory rental powers to get more houses into supply. Almost every community in Ireland can point to vacant homes that are simply not in use and are needed now more than ever. Empowering local authorities to carry out these orders would bring good quality former homes or empty apartments into use for those who need it most.

“Corporate rentals should also be required to rent space to refugees for a temporary period while the State catches up with the demand of those fleeing the war. It is the right thing to do.

“History tells us that refugees will not be able to return home quickly. We need a proper, well thought through long term housing strategy to adapt to the current context we find ourselves in. It is our obligation to ensure that refugees are supported and protected when they arrive in this State.”

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