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Tuesday, 31st January 2023

Appeal for unoccupied properties in Louth to house Ukrainian refugees

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Louth County Council is appealing to people who have unoccupied properties to offer them as temporary homes for those fleeing war in Ukraine.

The call is part of a government initiative, led by local authorities, to make use of unoccupied houses, apartments or holiday homes to house Ukrainian people and families. 

While rent will not be payable to those who offer properties, a tax-free recognition payment of €800 per month is available from the Department of Social Protection to those who offer accommodation to Ukrainians.

This is a call for stand-alone properties that are not occupied by others. Properties should be in liveable condition and, ideally, available for at least 6 months. Under the programme, Louth County Council takes offers of houses, apartments or holiday homes for temporary accommodation, liaise with owners to assess suitability, and arrange for their use by Ukrainian people and families. 

Since the programme was launched at the end of November Louth County Council has allocated 13 vacant properties accommodating 33 Ukrainian people in their new homes.

The feedback from both the Ukrainian families and the owners has been very positive. The families are delighted to be able to stay in a home environment. They are also able to keep their children in the same schools, keep in contact with the Ukrainian community in Co. Louth that they rely on for support and integrate with the local people in Louth. 

An owner of one of the properties stated “the council facilitated the process and had documents in English and Ukrainian so both sides could easily understand the process, the meeting covered everything that was expected from both parties and the contracts were signed at the meeting.” 

Another owner who was very happy to help a family stated “The Offer a Home Programme has brought a great joy to our family. A wonderful young Ukrainian couple expecting their first baby have taken up residence in our holiday cottage. It really was a wonderful experience for our family to welcome this lovely couple over Christmas.” 

Yvonne O’Brien, Acting Director of Service, Ukrainian Humanitarian Response said: “we have a fluent Ukrainian speaker working as a matching officer so that the whole process can be smoothly facilitated.

“Louth County Council will work with you throughout the process and be there to offer support while your property is being used.”

To offer a property or for more information, visit www.offerahome.ie or contact the Ukrainian Response Team on 042 -9335457.

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