SIXTY-FOUR modular homes are to be built in Mahon to house Ukrainian families, as part of the country’s national response to house people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) and Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth are rolling out a national modular housing programme, starting this month, which will house 2,000 Ukrainians in modular homes at a number of sites across Ireland.
Mahon is one of the first three sites announced as part of the programme, and the largest at 64 units. Other sites are in Cavan town in Cavan (30 units) and Thurles in Tipperary (60 units).
It is understood that the Mahon site is in the Ballinure area, and will house approximately 250 people.
The DCEDIY has said that the modular homes are small dwellings, mostly built off-site and then delivered and finished on site.
The units have a maximum lifespan of 60 years, and the Department have said the units are “well built, energy efficient and will enhance the local area on completion”.
A number of sites around the country have been identified for the development of modular units, where the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, along with DCEDIY, OPW and Local Authorities have identified vacant sites located in or close to an urban areas.
The OPW has deemed the Mahon site suitable for use, along with the Cavan and Thurles sites also announced in the first phase of construction.
The Mahon site will have roads, footpaths, street lighting, community facilities, including a play area and green spaces, “fully in line with Local Authority planning guidance”.
Occupants will predominantly be women and children fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
The DCEDIY has said that the use of modular units to house people fleeing Ukraine “allows the Government to pilot this type of accommodation”, and it will be possible then to see if the units are suitable for social housing, student accommodation or for other uses.
The Department of Education is planning for the extra school places needed and alternative arrangements will be made to bring occupant children to schools close by where the local school is at capacity.
The Department of Health along with the HSE are also planning for additional health service requirements.
The Department has said that construction disruption will be limited as accommodation is manufactured off site, and can be put in place quicker than standard accommodation.
Further sites are under consideration as part of a second phase of development in early 2023.
Since the war in Ukraine broke out, Ireland has welcomed almost 50,000 displaced Ukrainians. Under EU law (European Council Directive 2001/55EC), Ireland is obliged to provide accommodation to people fleeing the war.
“To date, the Government has used various types of temporary accommodation to house almost 39,641 displaced people displaced by the war in Ukraine. However as the crisis continues and more displaced persons arrive in Ireland, modular units will provide a means to increase the accommodation capacity available,” the DCEDIY has said in a statement.