Rapid Build Housing
The project in brief
The project is implemented by the Government of Ireland. It began in March 2022 and is currently ongoing.
This project aims to provide short-term accommodation to approximately 2,000 Ukrainians at several sites across Ireland. Modular homes are being used for the most part to accommodate women and children fleeing war in and those living in emergency accommodation or facilities where contracts are coming to an end are being prioritised. Modular homes can be delivered in a much shorter time frame than traditionally built houses and each unit houses four people and comes fully furnished.
Ireland has welcomed over 90,000 Ukrainians displaced from their homes since the war began, putting significant pressure on an already challenging accommodation environment in Ireland.
As people continue to arrive from Ukraine, these homes are providing a way to increase the accommodation capacity across the country. It is intended that the modular home model will also help integrate those living in them into local communities and they will be provided with access to local services, including education and health services. As of August 2023, five modular home sites have been completed around the country.
The Irish government is obliged under EU law to provide access to suitable accommodation to people fleeing war in Ukraine under the Temporary Protective Directive.
Following government decisions in March and June 2022 it was agreed to commence installation of modular housing units to be occupied by those fleeing the war in Ukraine
Main activities of the Good Practice
- The Rapid Build Housing project provides homes to Ukrainians, predominantly women and children, fleeing war in Ukraine.
- The homes were built much more quickly than a regular house.
- A number of sites around Ireland were identified as suitable locations for such home and each site was equipped with roads, footpaths, play areas and green spaces, all in line with local authority guidelines.
- Planning is also ongoing for other considerations for those moving into the new homes, such as places in local schools and additional health facilities in the area.
- Community and voluntary groups close to the rapid build sites are working together to ensure those moving into the modular homes are welcomed by local communities.
Department of Equality, Children, Disability, Integration and Youth
Office of Public Works (OPW)
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
International Organisation for Migration
Department of Education
Local community and voluntary groups.
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
Under normal circumstances the building of homes would require a lengthy planning process and extensive consultation with stakeholders. This would have delayed the provision of accommodation considerably.
How they were overcome
Due to the emergency nature of the programme, planning was granted under Government Decision which meant that public consultation was replaced by a formal programme of engagement/information sharing in the areas where rapid build homes were to be developed.
Results of the Good Practice
“Our family is very happy with the house……My wife and I have managed to get jobs at a local hotel as housekeeping staff and my daughter has enrolled in school.” Kostiantyn, Ukrainian refugee
- Refugees have been provided with modern, secure and appropriate accommodation.
- Contracts are for one year, with an option to extend, which offers more security than other accommodation options where contracts can end and people are forced to find alternatives (eg in student accommodation or the hospitality sector)
- Appropriate support, particularly education and healthcare are being put in place for people living in the new homes.
- These homes enable those availing of them to live independently.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
This project meets Objective 1 of the GCR by adding to the accommodation capacity where that capacity is already quite challenging
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
Ukrainians who are occupying modular homes are living independently and have the opportunity to integrate into local communities, thus meeting Objective 2 of the GCR.
There are plans to build more modular homes on other sites around the country that have been identified as suitable for this project. Work on the project will continue throughout 2023 and into 2024.
Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?
Ongoing management of the rapid home development will be by a dedicated organisation, Tuath AHB. This will support the ongoing administration of the scheme and the upkeep of on-site services. Residents will be obliged to pay utility charges as well as an income contribution.
Aoife Kavanagh, Senior External Affairs Associate, UNHCR Ireland - [email protected]