People face significant barriers when moving out of Direct Provision. These include a lack of financial resources, knowledge of the Irish rental market, an inability to provide acceptable references, language barriers, discrimination and racism. This already precarious situation is exacerbated by the accommodation crisis in Ireland, where waiting lists for social housing are long and rental costs exceed amounts provided in rent supplements. These issues are explored in detail in ‘Transition from Direct Provision to life in the community’.
The Irish Refugee Council’s Housing Programme assists people in overcoming these barriers by providing direct housing support and accommodation. Seventeen properties, donated to our programme by religious congregations, civil societies and members of the public, are sub-leased to individuals and families, providing them with a secure and affordable tenancy for a guaranteed period of time. During this time, the individual or family members receive further integration supports from the IRC including English language training, education and employment, which assist with deeper integration. After this period of assistance and stability outside of the Direct Provision system, people are more empowered and better positioned to move independently into the private rental market.
Our Housing Programme is generously supported by the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough with properties donated by several congregations, as well as members of the public. St. Stephens Green Trust has also provided support to establish a governance framework for the project.
We also assist people with general housing queries and provide key support to people trying to secure rental accommodation or who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness – ensuring our programme reaches as many people as possible.
Nonty and Princess pick up the keys to their new house through our housing programme