Donegal County Council is appealing to those who have unoccupied properties to offer them as temporary homes for people fleeing war in Ukraine.
The renewed 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.
A tax-free ‘recognition payment’ of €800 per month is available for properties used to house those fleeing the war.
The Offer a Home programme began in late November last year and to date, more than 150 offers have been made to Donegal County Council.
Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G McLaughlin, appealed to the people of Donegal to offer unused properties.
“The welcome Irish people have shown to those arriving from Ukraine has been exceptional, and we are so thankful to those who have already offered homes,” Mr McLaughlin said.
“We know that people are very anxious to help where they can so we’re appealing to anybody who has a suitable property and hasn’t been able to offer it before now to please consider getting in touch with us to find out what is involved.
“We understand that it can be daunting to offer a property to someone you don’t know. That is why local authorities 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 over the coming months, please consider offering it for those who badly need a safe home for a while.”
More than 70,000 people have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine seeking safety and the vast majority need accommodation.
Under the ‘Offer a Home’ programme, the 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.
Property owners can offer homes at gov.ie/offerahome or by contacting the local authority in which the property is located.
Those who offer a property can expect to be contacted by the local authority within 5 working days of making their offer and an assessment of the property will be carried out by the local authority 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.gov.ie/offerahome
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.
To offer a property or for more information, visit www.gov.ie/offerahome