New Comprehensive Accommodation Strategy for International Protection Applicants announced

28 Mar 2024


On 27 March 2024, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) announced a new Comprehensive Accommodation Strategy for International Protection Applicants (IPAs).

Since the publication of the White Paper to End Direct Provision and Establish A New International Protection Support Service in 2021, increased numbers of international protection applicants as well as the requirement to accommodate beneficiaries of temporary protection, have presented significant challenges to the State’s ability to provide accommodation for those seeking international protection. This new strategy has two parts – a near term strategy aiming to respond to the current homelessness crisis and a Revised Accommodation Model. The latter revises the approach outlined in the White Paper, to take account of the increased annual arrivals, while maintaining the core principles of the White Paper and ensuring compliance with reception regulations.


The new accommodation strategy predicts a larger reception capacity is required than the originally proposed 3,500 people per year, planning for an annual average of 13,000 -16,000 arrivals between 2024 and 2028. This approach also projects that persons with status would move from their accommodation after a specified period, which is currently set at 1 year following receiving status.


The strategy aims to move away from reliance on private providers, and instead scale up capacity through a multi-strand approach of state-owned accommodation, commercial accommodation and temporary commercial accommodation. State-owned Reception and Integration Centres and Accommodation Centres will account for 14,000 of the 35,000 beds planned for in total.


Accommodation in a Reception and Integration Centre will be available to each IPA for at least 6 months (Phase 1 accommodation). During those 6 months each applicant will have access to a programme of orientation and integration and supports as described in the White Paper.

Phase 2 accommodation requires Accommodation Centres to be provided for individuals who have completed the six-month orientation programme in a Reception and Integration Centre but are awaiting a decision. Applicants would move to Accommodation Centres after six months and would remain in these centres until they exited the protection process.

Accommodation and Supports for Vulnerable Groups

Under the Revised Accommodation Model, families and vulnerable individuals such as victims of trafficking will be prioritised for accommodation in the community, in specialised accommodation that may be supported by specific NGOs.

In addition, an International Protection Child Payment will be provided to families in the reception system which will provide an increase on the weekly allowance of €29.80 for children currently.

Contingency planning

The strategy notes the importance of contingency planning as part of a strategic and planned response to the accommodation of IPAs which will be undertaken via analysis of current and future arrival trends. This will allow the State to project estimated arrivals over the coming six to 12 months and help the system manage demand,  including an ability to expand bed capacity quickly as required.

 Near term strategy

In the short and medium term, the Comprehensive Strategy envisions there will be continued reliance on emergency accommodation. Currently, there are over 1,000 adult male applicants awaiting an offer of accommodation, with this number increasing weekly. The new strategy notes that “there is also an increasing likelihood that families, including women and children could find themselves without an offer of accommodation in the coming weeks or months”.

To respond to this crisis, the strategy outlines near term measures to be implemented in 2024 and 2025 which include the conversion of commercial properties such as empty office blocks into IPA accommodation, acquiring HSE and State lands to develop prefabricated and other types of accommodation as well as purchasing of medium and large properties.


The Revised Accommodation Model notes the importance of a communication strategy both targeted at the local community level and broader at the national level. A strong focus on community and local engagement is envisioned to help to improve the flow of information regarding arrivals into areas and to help equip local communities with the accurate information required to help them understand the current situation, to put in place structures to ensure planning for the provision of essential and support services, like healthcare and education and to assist with the welcome and integration process for new arrivals.

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