Labour calls for appointment of Special Minister with Responsibility for Housing Refugees

Ivana Bacik TD
02 February 2023

Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has called on Government to appoint a Special Minister with Responsibility for Housing Refugees to the Housing Department.

Questioning the Tanaiste in the Dáil today, Deputy Bacik said the information vacuum created by Government is being exploited by bad faith actors in local communities.

Deputy Bacik said:

“We in Labour are calling for a Minister to be appointed with the purpose of creating a strategy to house refugees in communities. The Government also needs to adopt a centralised approach to getting information out to local communities in a timely way when new accommodation is being opened.

“It is undeniable that there are sinister actors who are trying to further a far-right agenda in all this.

“They are seeking to exploit the information vacuum to sow fear and distrust in local communities.

“We have seen intimidation of families and children by some protesters. This week, a public meeting that we organized was attacked, and our own Labour public representatives have been threatened for expressing solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers.

“Across Ireland, we have seen communities offering a welcome to those who have come here seeking refuge from war and persecution. But we need a more co-ordinated government approach to support communities.

“We need to see the appointment of a special minister in the Department of Housing and we need Government to allocate additional resources to IPAS to ensure sufficient capacity in the provision of accommodation. The unprecedented challenge in finding accommodation requires a coherent, NPHET-style response, led by the Taoiseach with a senior CMO-style figure. We also urgently need a public information campaign and community funding rolled out to those to support those communities which are extending that Céad Mile Fáilte.”

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