Ukrainian Refugees To Move Into Thurles Modular Homes By November

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A major expansion of facilities for refugees from Ukraine is planned for Thurles.

Land at Gortataggart is to be used to provide a site for 60 modular homes to cater for up to 240 people.

The government has struggled to cope due to the housing crisis as refugees arrive from Ukraine.

The government plans to provide up to 500 modular rapid build houses by the end of the year at 20 locations across Ireland.

The Gortataggart site may involve use of land owned by the Council and possibly land offered by Thurles Lions Housing Trust. Minister Roderic O’Gorman is to brief public representatives today.

The land is approximately 10 mins walk from Liberty Square.

In addition a building formerly operating as Thurles Community Services on O’Donovan Rossa Street,  located 300 metres from the housing site, is to be repurposed as a Community Centre for Ukrainian Refugees living in Tipperary.

The facility will be operated by a committee led by members of Thurles Rotary Club and involving Thurles Community Social Services and members of the Ukrainian Community.

It will allow refugees living in Tipperary, or staying in Hotels or convents in Templemore and Fethard to have a place  to meet – the centre also plans to support children with play opportunities and to provide classes in areas such as language and fitness.

Response from Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth regarding Modular Housing for Refugees from Ukraine

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2020, more than 43,000 Ukrainian citizens have been forced to leave their homes and have sought refuge here in Ireland. Of these, more than 33,000 of those are being provided with accommodation from the State.

In response to the crisis, the Government has sought to provide a range of accommodation solutions in every county in Ireland. As part of this considerable national effort, the Government has also approved the construction of 500 modular accommodation units with the potential to house up to 2,000 individuals in family units.

The OPW is leading the development of this accommodation on behalf of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. OPW officials have considered a range of sites and now have identified a number of sites that will be suitable for the first phase of construction. Those sites are in Kildare, Dublin, Cork, Cavan, and Tipperary. The site identified in Tipperary is in Thurles. It is planned that the first units will be ready for occupation by November.

The Modular homes will be highly energy efficient, durable units with a 60 year lifespan and the development of the sites will be conducted in an environmentally sustainable way to ensure that, post development, the site will enhance the local area.

In relation to the provision of services, the modular project will be the first purpose-built accommodation for displaced Ukrainians and as such, has afforded DCEDIY the opportunity to plan for the provision of essential services like healthcare and education.

DCEDIY has in place overarching structures with other Departments and State Agencies to ensure that the needs of displaced Ukrainians in terms of services are conveyed to the relevant providers in each area so that advance planning can be made in terms of additional supports.

Meanwhile Tipperary County Council (TCC) Housing Department says that the council “ has no issue with the use of modular units once they meet the necessary standards and design requirements.”

TCC does not anticipate the use of modular homes in respect of social housing. TCC housing Section says it  is currently well on track to exceed the new build target as set by the Department of Housing  for 2022 in addition to a very strong pipeline for 2023, 2024 and 2025 .

The 2021 Summary of Social Housing Assessments calculated by the Department records 1,121 households in Tipperary assessed as being qualified for, and in need of, social housing support as of 17 November 2021.

The council has 35 housing schemes at various stages of progress from approval, planning, to on site, that will deliver 501 houses up to the end of next year.

The Department of Housing excludes those on financial supports such as HAP or RAS when calculating the number of households in need of social housing.