Local authorities have launched a new initiative appealing to those who have unoccupied properties to offer them as temporary homes for those fleeing war in Ukraine.
This new government initiative, led by local authorities and coordinated by the LGMA, will take and manage offers of unoccupied houses, apartments or holiday homes to house people and families from Ukraine.
More than 60,000 people have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine seeking safety following the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February this year and the vast majority need accommodation.
Under the new initiative, local authorities will take offers of houses, apartments or holiday homes for temporary accommodation, liaise with owners to assess suitability, and arrange for their use by people and families from Ukraine.
Local Authorities will continue to support property owners and people from Ukraine taking up the offers of accommodation during the arrangement.
Property owners can offer homes at gov.ie/offerahome.ie or by contacting the local authority in which their property is located.
Outlining the process for offering up a home, Frank Curran, Chair of the County and City Management Association (CCMA) explained:
“Those who offer a property can expect to be contacted by the local authority within five working days and an assessment of the property will then be carried out. This assessment is to ensure the property is habitable and to get some details so it can be matched to the most appropriate person or family.
“Anybody who offers a property will be able to check the status of their offer at any stage through the website offerahome.ie. It should be noted that this is a call for stand-alone properties that are not occupied by others. Properties should be in liveable condition and, ideally, available for at least 6 months.
“We understand that it can be daunting to offer a property to someone you don’t know. To anybody out there that can offer a property, I want to emphasise that your local authority will work with you throughout the process and be there to offer support while your property is being used.”
While rent will not be payable to those who offer properties, a tax-free recognition payment of €800 per month is available from the Department of Social Protection to those who offer accommodation to people from Ukraine.
Thanking the local authorities for launching the initiative, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said:
“I would like to commend the Local Authorities for leading on this important initiative. Meeting the accommodation needs of people from Ukraine who have sought refuge here is a significant challenge, and it is important that every arm of the state assists with the humanitarian response. I would encourage everybody who can assist with providing a property to engage with their local authority where they can.”
Commenting on the campaign and the need for accommodation, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD emphasised:
“The Irish people have already shown incredible support for the people of Ukraine. We know that people are very anxious to help where they can so, through this campaign, we are appealing to anybody who has a house, apartment, or holiday home that they’re not using at the moment to consider offering it to those who need shelter and safety from war. So, if you have a property that is otherwise going to be empty this winter, please consider offering it for those who badly need a safe home for a while.”
To offer a home or for more information about the initiative, visit gov.ie/offerahome.
The initiative announced today follows on previous significant support provided by local authorities to national government in responding to the accommodation and other needs of those arriving from Ukraine.
This support has included but is not limited to:
- Establishing rest centres and temporary accommodation centres
- Sourcing emergency accommodation in hotels/B&Bs
- Coordinating other supports for people from Ukraine including through the establishment of Ukraine Community Response Forums.