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New appeal for Waterford properties to house Ukrainian people

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

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

A tax-free recognition payment of €800 per month is available for properties used to house those arriving from Ukraine. This payment rate applies from December 1st 2022.

More than 60,000 people have arrived to Ireland from Ukraine seeking safety and the vast majority need accommodation.

Under a new programme, Waterford City and County Council will take 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.

Those who offer a property can expect to be contacted by the council within 5 working days of making their offer and an assessment of the property will be carried out by Waterford Council staff shortly after.  The assessment is to ensure the property is habitable and to get some details so it can be matched to the most appropriate person or family. 

Anybody who offers a property will be able to check the status of their offer at any stage through the website www.offerahome.ie.  

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.  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.

Appealing to the people of Waterford to offer unused properties, Sinéad Breathnach, WCCC Ukrainian Refugee Lead said, “The Irish and particularly Waterford people have shown incredible support for the people of Ukraine. We know that people are very anxious to help where they can so we’re appealing to anybody who has a house, apartment, or holiday home here in Waterford that they’re not using at the moment to consider offering it to those who need shelter and safety from war.

“We understand that it can be daunting to offer a property to someone you don’t know. That is why dedicated Waterford Council staff will work with you throughout the process and be there to offer support while your property is being used.

“If you have a property that is otherwise going to be empty this winter, please consider offering it for those who badly need a safe home for a while,” Ms. Breathnach concluded.

To offer a property or for more information, visit www.offerahome.ie or make contact with Waterford Council at email offerahome@waterfordcouncil.ie or by telephone on 058 22059.

-Ends-

For further information:

Sinéad Breathnach
Ukrainian Community Response and Accommodation Lead
Community & Sports Department
Waterford City & County Council

Notes

  • Under this programme, local authorities are seeking offers of stand-alone properties that are not occupied by others and have their own entrance door and all the main facilities required for independent living.
  • This is not a call for properties that would be shared with the owner or others. Pledges of shared accommodation may be made via the Irish Red Cross.
  • The public can offer a property by setting up an account at offerahome.ie or by contacting the local authority in which the property is located. Contact details for Waterford Council are offerahome@waterfordcouncil.ie or 058 22059.
  • Properties need to be habitable and must meet certain health and safety standards, agreed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
  • The local authority will arrange to assess properties to make sure these standards are met.
  • Ideally, properties would be available for 6 months or longer.
  • Offers will not result in rental arrangements, and rent will not be paid. However, it is recommended that the owner and beneficiaries enter into a licence agreement. A template licence agreement can be provided by the local authority.
  • The Government has introduced a Recognition Payment Scheme for those who provide accommodation to Ukrainians. Under this scheme, a monthly flat rate of €800 per property is payable to all those hosting Ukrainian temporary protection beneficiaries. The payment linked to a minimum hosting commitment of 6 months.
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