OUT of 886 pledges to house Ukrainian refugees in vacant or shared properties across Co Cork, only 44 have been honoured, with 108 people accommodated, a report to the Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) has revealed.
Many pledges were made to give a home to Ukrainian refugees, since Russia’s illegal invasion in February, with the Irish Red Cross initially managing those pledges, before the local government took over this summer.
A new report from Cork County Council shows that out of 886 pledges made in Co Cork to accommodate Ukrainians in vacant properties or in shared accommodation in family homes, only 44 have been fulfilled, with 108 people housed.
Niall Healy, Cork County Council’s director of services, municipal district services and rural development, said that 263 pledges of vacant properties had been made in Co Cork, but 159 of those pledges were subsequently withdrawn, or those making the initial pledge later proved to be uncontactable.
Some 24 of the properties that pledged to house refugees proved to be unsuitable, and a further 48 were deemed to be too rural or remote.
“They wouldn’t have had the required support services or wraparound services, and transport may have been an issue, but certainly their rurality would have been a problem,” Mr Healy said.
“The vast majority of Ukrainian refugees that have arrived into this country have arrived from very densely populated urban settings, and remote rural settings can be quite disconcerting after all they have been through.”
32 pledged vacant properties were deemed to be suitable, and Cork County Council then tasked the properties to their implementing partners, the International Organisation for Migrants (IOM), which matched the properties to families
Of those 32 vacant properties, 14 have been occupied, housing 51 people.
A further 623 pledges were made to house Ukrainian refugees in shared accommodation in family homes across Co Cork, but 478 pledges were subsequently withdrawn, or proved to be uncontactable.
Of the remaining 145 pledges, 118 were deemed suitable, and were passed to IOM, and 30 properties have been occupied to date, housing a further 57 people.
Mr Healy said that a further seven medium-term properties, which have been deemed capable of accommodating 25 or more people, have been identified in the county and those properties are being assessed for suitability.