'We have nowhere to go' - Housing crisis leaves refugees stuck in Direct Provision

"We can’t move now because there is nothing out there."
Barry Whyte
Barry Whyte

16.44 6 Oct 2022

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'We have nowhere to go' - Hous...

'We have nowhere to go' - Housing crisis leaves refugees stuck in Direct Provision

Barry Whyte
Barry Whyte

16.44 6 Oct 2022

Share this article

Refugees who have been granted protection in Ireland remain stuck in Direct Provision because of the housing crisis.

Figures reported by Newstalk this morning suggest one-in-seven hotels in Ireland is now being used to house refugees and asylum seekers.

That figure does not include homeless people who are also being housed in hotels.


Meanwhile, Ireland has taken in nearly 10,000 asylum seekers already this year – on top of the 54,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived here since the war began.

The Government has admitted that accommodating new arrivals is “really difficult right now” – but confirmed that Ireland will not be putting a cap on the number of asylum seekers or Ukrainian refugees it accepts.

With homelessness at record levels however, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people who are granted refugee status to leave Direct Provision.

As an example, there are 192 residents at two Direct Provision Centre in Wicklow. Some 137 have been granted refugee status but have yet to move on into the community.


Sharon from Zimbabwe told Newstalk she has found it impossible to find somewhere to live since she was granted her status.

“I got my status in April of this year and I was told I need to start looking for a house,” she said.

“Ever since then I have been sending emails day in, day out with no response – nothing at all. It is impossible, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack so it is difficult.”


Sharon said she is living in a single room with her daughter and is now concerned she will be forced to move on with nowhere to go.

“It is difficult because we know there are other people who want to use that space but we can’t move now because there is nothing out there,” she said.

“It is at the back of our minds to say OK, we’ve got status but we’re being told you have got to move, you need to get out and find a place and it is quite concerning because you don’t know where you are going to go.

“You are going to end up homeless. So, it is quite a huge challenge that people in DP who have got their status are facing now.”

Direct Provision

In the Government White Paper on Direct Provision, the government committed to building six State-owned reception and integration centre to accommodate 2,000 asylum seekers.

Speaking to Newstalk, the Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman confirmed that six would no longer be enough.

So far, not one brick has been laid in building the six that were promised.

Sharon said the government must do something about the accommodation crisis – warning that a cap on asylum seekers would leave people facing real danger.

“It is difficult to say there should be a cap because when a person comes seeking protection, it is not by choice,” she said.

Human rights

She said there is one main reason so many people flee to Ireland.

“You will find that maybe Ireland is the safest place you can come to based on the fact that they uphold human rights here,” she said.

“That, for me, is a contributing factor for why people come here – because they uphold human rights.”

Main image shows a split-screen of a Direct Provision centre in Kerry and housing in Dublin.

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