THE Office of Public Works has confirmed that it has identified sites in Donegal for modular homes to house Ukrainian refugees.
The government has approved the construction of 500 prefabs with the potential to house as many as 2,000 people in family units of four.
Up to 250 Ukrainian refugees are to be housed in 64 such properties in Cork with the roll out to begin in the coming weeks.
The site in the suburb of Mahon will have community facilities including green spaces and a play area.
It will accommodate primarily women and children displaced by the war in Ukraine.
It is one of three initial sites announced by the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth.
A further 60 are planned for Thurles and 30 in Cavan town.
Donegal is not included in the earliest part of the government’s plan but sites here are being looked at, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has said.
Latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show some 54,000 Ukrainians have sought refuge in Ireland since Russia’s invasion of the country in February.
Of those almost 5,000 have been settled in Donegal.
The Government has been scrambling to find accommodation for arrivals, resorting at times to the likes of the old Dublin Airport hangar, the
Aviva Stadium and Páirc Uí Chaoimh to temporarily house refugees.
Modular homes are being viewed as a further temporary solution to the accommodation shortage.
A spokesperson for the OPW said, “The provision of modular homes is classified as a ‘matter of extreme urgency’ under the EU Directive governing procurement regulations.
“This means the OPW can use the accelerated procurement procedure to engage consultants and a main contractor for site preparations, transportation and installation of modular units.
“The regulations also allow exemptions to the planning regulations for a specific time to provide emergency homes for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. However, the homes will be compliant with all building control and building regulations.”
Dublin building and contracting firm John Sisk and Son Holding Ltd has been appointed as the main contractor for the houses.
Sisk has in turn sub-contracted five companies across the state to build modular homes for the programme.
The OPW added, “It is expected that these homes will be installed on a phased basis during January and February 2023 as site enabling works across a range of locations are completed.
“All modular sites will have roads, footpaths, street lighting and community facilities, including a play area and green spaces fully in line with local authority planning guidance.
“The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and local authorities around the country have identified sites that could potentially be suitable, including in Donegal, although there are none in Donegal being progressed in this initial phase.”