Plans to use modular homes as accommodation for Ukrainian refugees scaled back

Decision taken to deliver 654 units rather than 700 originally envisaged

Plans to use modular homes as accommodation for Ukrainian refugees have been scaled back, with 654 units now set to be delivered instead of 700.

The Department of Integration said the decision to provide 46 fewer homes was taken so that the project would stay within a certain budget and would be finished before the end of the year.

It means that some 2,616 people fleeing the war in Ukraine will be accommodated in modular homes rather than the intended 2,800.

The project to provide the homes has been beset with delays including difficulties identifying suitable sites and there have been additional costs for works to bring selected locations up to the necessary standards to install the modular units.


The original plan to provide 500 homes was approved by Government in June 2022 and it was hoped the first units would become available in November that year. In the end the first homes did not become available until June 2023.

A preliminary estimate for the cost of the original 500 homes was €100 million but this was revised upwards to €155.5 million due to the additional costs related to the sites as well as the impact of inflation.

The most recent publicly available cost estimate for all 700 homes was €237 million.

Neither the Department of Integration nor the Office of Public Works – which was tasked with delivering the project – would provide the current cost estimate for the delivery of the reduced number of homes.

The department confirmed the decision to scale back the project with a statement saying there were a number of issues that had arisen in recent months.

These relate to “the identification of viable sites, site conditions, remedial works, boundaries, ESB connections, etc”.

It added: “These issues have led to the overall programme incurring increased costs and have also delayed dates of completion.

“These increased costs and delays led [the Department of Integration] to review the Rapid Build Programme in conjunction with OPW.

“Based on this review, a decision was taken not to proceed with the full 700 units in order to ensure the programme was completed within a certain budget and timeline (before the end of 2024). A total of 654 units will be delivered on 11 sites.”

The department added: “The remaining 46 units were not under order and as such there is no financial commitment in place for them.”

Hundreds of modular homes are either in use or expected to become available later this year at 10 sites around the country.

The final site will be at Clonmel, Co Tipperary, where the plan is to install 82 homes.

The OPW said that the total delivery would be 654. “No further homes are in production and it has been agreed with [the Department of Integration] that the programme will cease upon completion of the Clonmel site,” it said.

Asked about reports of protests about the plans to provide modular homes in Clonmel, the OPW said: “Engagement has taken place with the local authority and local councillors ahead of the commencement of works.”

It said the Department of Integration and OPW “will continue to monitor the site for further developments”.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times