There are around 300 international protection applicants currently living in tents, Roderic O’Gorman has said.
Since last year, tens of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers have moved to Ireland and the State has struggled to find accommodation for them all.
“In tents, there are no Ukrainians,” Minister Roderic O’Gorman told The Hard Shoulder.
“There’d be a small number of international protection applicants - I’d say, maybe, 300 out of 80,000 people we’re providing accommodation to.”
There are around 86,000 Ukrainians living in Ireland at the moment and most have been found a place to live by the Department of Integration.
“We’re providing State provided accommodation to about 66,000 of those [Ukraiains],” Minister O’Gorman said.
“The numbers arriving since the New Year have been lower - we’re looking at somewhere between 500 and 600 a week… There’d be about 54,000 Ukrainians in hotel or guesthouse accommodation around the country and a significant number of international protection applicants.”
The large number of Ukrainians being housed in hotels has led to complaints from some that tourists are being prevented from visiting; this, they argue, has had a negative impact on businesses reliant on tourism.
Minister O’Gorman said the State would be reliant on a “significant number of hotels” in the short-term but said alternatives are being developed.
“We are bringing in place a number of alternative mechanisms of accommodation,” he said.
“We’ve been refurbishing buildings, we’ve been bringing forward the modular accommodation - we have Ukrainians now living in modular accommodation in Cork.
“We’ve also had the very successful vacant home and pledge property - we’ve 11,000 Ukrainians living in vacant homes or pledged properties around the country.”
Main Image: Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman.