Number of Ukrainian Refugee Centers to Close Under New 90-Day Policy

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Recent policy changes for Temporary Protection beneficiaries are prompting the Department of Integration to “rationalise” accommodation services. Number of Ukrainian Refugee Centers to Close Under New 90-Day Policy

A significant number of centers providing shelter for those fleeing the war in Ukraine will close in the coming months, according to the Department of Integration. This decision is a direct result of the new policy limiting accommodation to 90 days for Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTP), which has led to an increase in vacancies.

The department noted that individuals are exiting state-provided accommodation daily to arrange their own housing independently. As a result, the department is now focusing on “consolidating and rationalising the BOTP accommodation portfolio.”

“The 90-day policy means that BOTPs arriving since March 14th will not receive long-term accommodation. Additionally, people are leaving our accommodations daily to make independent arrangements,” explained a department spokesman.

This confirmation coincides with the recent notification to about 170 residents at the Lough Allen Hotel in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, who were given just two weeks to vacate the premises, which is due to close next Friday. The hotel closure has raised concerns for the mostly women and children living there, many of whom are integrated into the local community through work and school.

The department aims to schedule future moves during the summer months to minimize disruption to the school year, if possible.

Refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine come to Ireland under Temporary Protection rules established after Russia’s invasion in 2022, receiving different provisions compared to those applying for International Protection from other countries. All accommodation provided by the department is temporary, subject to the expiration of contracts with private contractors. Individuals requesting emergency accommodation are informed of its temporary nature and the possibility of relocation.

While no other centers have been identified for closure yet, the department anticipates that the new 90-day rule and ongoing vacancies will result in a more sustainable accommodation portfolio. “It is expected that a significant number of contracts will end over the next months, and the department will try to schedule moves for the summer months to minimize disruption to the school year,” the spokesman added.

Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection are encouraged to find independent housing using available options such as pledged or Offer a Home properties or renting privately with supports like rent supplements, if eligible.

Last December, the government implemented a plan under which Ukrainians fleeing the war would receive a bed for 90 days and a reduced weekly allowance of €38.80 per adult and €29.80 per child, down from the previous €220 per week in jobseeker’s allowance. The number of Ukrainian refugees arriving daily has dropped sharply in recent months, with 25 arriving daily in February, down from 70 daily arrivals in December 2023. In February, 37 individuals were leaving state accommodation each day.

Number of Ukrainian Refugee Centers to Close Under New 90-Day Policy

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