‘Hesitancy’ among Ukrainian refugees to move to rural homes, Dáil told

Latest figures show 1,718 properties out of 10,587 potential pledges are in use

There is “hesitancy” among Ukraine refugees to move to homes pledged by members of the public in rural areas, Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman has said.

The latest figures show that just 1,718 properties out of 10,587 potential pledges are in use by more than 4,500 refugees.

The figures on pledged properties were provided to the Dáil by Mr O’Gorman. He outlined how around 3,390 pledged properties are yet to be activated but that “every effort will be made” to do this if they are suitable.

Mr O’Gorman added: “While some have been assessed as viable and available, it is reported that a significant number are located in rural locations with less access to transport links or social supports such as schools and GPs and as such there is some hesitancy to move to them.”


It comes as Ireland’s system for housing refugees is under immense pressure with tens of thousands fleeing the Russian war on Ukraine as well as a surge in the number of people seeking international protection from other countries.

The Department of Integration said of the 3,390 unallocated pledged properties, 1,382 are reported to be viable and available, with others yet to be reported on or currently undergoing assessment.

The department said it does not have a figure for the number of viable properties in rural areas that refugees are reluctant to move to. Its statement did say there have been 754 rural pledges out of the overall number of 10,587.

Mr O’Gorman’s remarks came in a written response to a parliamentary question on pledged properties from Fine Gael TD David Stanton.

Almost 55,000 people are believed to have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine since the outbreak of war in February with more than 40,000 needing accommodation provided by the State.

Mr O’Gorman said: “Overseeing provision of accommodation on this scale during this timeframe for all those who require it remains immensely challenging.

”Due to the urgent need to source accommodation, a broad range of accommodation types have been contracted. The priority is to place people fleeing the conflict in safe and secure accommodation.”

Many have been staying in hotels and other emergency accommodation but about 4,500 are in shared or vacant homes pledged by the public.

Mr O’Gorman also said: “The scale of response to this crisis has been unprecedented and Irish people have displayed an incredible level of generosity in their support and pledges of accommodation.”

He said his department has been engaging with local authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to distribute suitable properties for allocation to beneficiaries.

A total of 10,587 potential pledges have been forwarded by his Department to local authorities and NGOs for activation. Of these, 3,342 were vacant and 7,245 is shared accommodation.

Some 51 per cent of the pledges - 5,377 - have now been excluded because they have been withdrawn, the property owner has proved uncontactable or it is deemed otherwise unsuitable.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times