Government considering "nominal" rent fee for refugees
The exact fee has yet to be decided.
The Government is considering plans to introduce rent fees for refugees availing of accommodation in Ireland, with a proposal currently at draft level.
Speaking on The Week in Politics on Sunday, Green Party Minister of State Joe O'Brien said that the fee in question would be "nominal".
Asked how charging refugees money for rent will result in more accommodation, O'Brien said it won't.
"Just to say there is no plan to charge asylum seekers across the board rent, just to say that at the outset – what has been reported is a draft paper where different departments have made suggestions about what could or should be done," he began.
"There are some people in Direct Provision settings and some Ukrainian people who have come over who are in full-time employment. There is a suggestion in the paper that some nominal fee might be paid, but that's not going to create more accommodation, I'm not going to pretend to you that that's the case."
O'Brien went on to note that people are "fleeing for their lives" from Ukraine while hailing the "extraordinary" response of the State, the community sector and local authorities.
"We have accommodated and given people safety and shelter to the tune of 60,000 people this year, and I think, as a society, we should be proud of that."
Asked about the prospect of rent being introduced for those seeking shelter in Ireland, O'Brien once more underlined that the paper is at draft level.
"[It] indicates that for the limited number of people who may be in service accommodation by the State, that there is a draft proposal on the table that there may be some nominal fee paid.
"This is not rent like we would normally understand rent."
O'Brien said he doesn't know how much the nominal rent fee would amount to, and that he has yet to see the draft paper in question.
"My understanding is that the proposal is that it's a nominal fee. It won't create more housing. That's still the pressure."