Cillian Sherlock, PA
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has said the use of so-called floating hotels, or “flotels”, is not a “silver bullet” for housing international protection applicants.
His comments come after the Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman said flotels could offer safe accommodation.
However, Mr McGrath said the consideration of flotels is at an “early stage” and it is uncertain if that will progress to Mr O’Gorman bringing a recommendation to Government.
Asked by reporters if he would personally support flotels, Mr McGrath said: “There is no single answer, there’s no silver bullet, we are looking at all accommodation options that are there across the country.”
He said it was the Government’s preference to use existing building stock which may be vacant or unused.
Mr McGrath said: “There is much of it all over the country, which is either unoccupied or underutilised, and those buildings are already there.
“There’s always a focus on value for money, but there are real costs that we cannot avoid with international obligations.”
Mr McGrath said he did not want anybody to be sleeping on the streets because there is no accommodation available.
He added: “We are working really hard to find solutions to ensure that accommodation can be provided and we have made progress in recent days.”
He also said an envelope of €2 billion had been provided for in 2023 to meet the costs associated with arrivals from Ukraine.