The Government must appoint a ‘national lead’ to coordinate Ireland’s Ukraine refugee response, according to housing charity Doras.
It comes as thousands of Ukrainians prepare to leave student accommodation ahead of the return to college.
Around 2,500 people are to be moved by the end of the month, with around 1,000 more to be moved in September as students return.
On Breakfast Briefing this morning, Doras CEO John Lannon said the continued upheaval can be very damaging for families.
“As they move out of the student accommodation, they’ll be going into temporary accommodation and there will be another move for them down the road again,” he said.
“This is a continuous cycle of moving and moving and this is quite inhumane and quite difficult for people.”
He said the upheaval can be retraumatising for people who have already been through so much.
“These are people who have had to escape from a warzone, may have lived with bombing and shelling for weeks or months before getting to Ireland,” he said.
“Over the next few weeks, we know schools will be reopening and we also have people who are trying to settle down to get jobs and this is impossible as they are moving from location to location.
“It is very unsettling and very difficult for people as they have to do this.”
Mr Lannon said Ireland needs a ‘national lead’ to coordinate the Ukraine response.
“We would argue that this is the consequence of a lack of planning over the past four to six months,” he said.
“The Dept has been under extraordinary pressure to find beds for people, but we have had time to put longer-term solutions in place.”
He said the Government needs a longer-term strategy.
“They need to move from continual crisis management to a more structured medium-term approach,” he said.
“There are a few things that need to be done. The appointment and the resourcing of a national lead for Ireland’s national refugee response.
“We need to mandate the Housing Agency to develop a medium-term plan for housing refugees.
“Making welfare and integration support for refugees should be a priority for the upcoming budget and finally we also need to establish a refugee agency at this point.”
Mr Lannon said people are still coming forward with offers of accommodation.
“There are new people coming forward now who are saying look, I do have a room or a I do have a building or property that could potentially be used and we welcome that,” he said.
“If there’s space available, then the matching of people from Ukraine to that property is something that can be done in a matter of weeks.”
Main images shows beds at Gormanston Army Camp. Image: Department of Taoiseach.