THE GOVERNMENT HAS approved plans to build 500 modular homes as part of efforts to house Ukrainian refugees, with the first units set to be completed as early as November.
Minister for Integration, Roderic O’Gorman, announced the plan this afternoon, saying that it would accommodate approximately 2,000 Ukrainian refugees within the 500 modular units.
O’Gorman said that the first of these homes will be completed in November, but that all 500 would be in place in late February or early March.
Speaking to reporters, O’Gorman said that the construction of the modular housing would be carried out on state land and would cost around €100 million in total, including construction and site costs.
“The overall cost for this is €100 million. So that includes the purchase, the construction, and it also clearly includes the site works on the sites where these modules will be located,” said O’Gorman.
“I think six months for the delivery of all these units, I think is good timing.”
He added that a lot of the time will likely be spent servicing the sites with utilities.
Previously, The Journal reported that eight sites had been identified by the Cabinet subcommittee on Ukraine as being serviced and that the Office of Public Works were assessing them.
All of the units are set to be two-bed apartments and will be able to accommodate a maximum of four refugees
O’Gorman said that there was around 20 state-owned sites currently being examined to build the modular housing, with no more than 60 units being built on any individual site.
He added that the homes would have an A2 BR rating and that they would last for up to 60 years and could be repurposed in the future if needed.
Under the plan, planning exemptions are set to be granted by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to allow the homes to be developed faster.
The project itself is being carried out between the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Office of Public Works
O’Gorman said that his department were currently accommodating around 40,000 people, both international protection applicants and Ukrainian refugees, and that this was causing pressures.
He said that as significant numbers of Ukrainian refugees are staying in student accommodation, they will have to be moved out as students return to college later this year.
“A significant number of Ukrainians are accommodated in student accommodation across the country, that student accommodation will have to be freed up for third level students come late August early September.
“We’re working closely with the various university authorities in terms of moving Ukrainians from these properties, primarily into pledged accommodation.”