Green light for the plan to give €4,800 a year to families hosting refugees

Households will receive €4,800 a year for hosting refugees, as retroactive payments will kick in from July.

The Council of Ministers will give this morning the definitive approval for the payment of 400 euros per month for homes that host refugees. The independent irish understands that homeowners who have relinquished their second homes to refugees will also receive the payment.

It will be deposited in bank accounts by the Social Protection Department, with funds provided by the Children’s Department.

It is understood that households will have to apply to receive the payment which is intended to support families hosting refugees by helping to pay costs such as food and utility bills.

New laws will have to be introduced for payment to be established.

Senior government sources could not say last night how much the measure will cost, as it would be “driven by demand.” However, it is believed that between €20 million and €50 million has been budgeted for the payment.

The latest figures estimate that more than 30,000 refugees have arrived in the state since the start of the war.

The Red Cross said yesterday that 10,200 refugee properties have been cleared through accommodation pledges, which would cost nearly €49 million a year for 12 monthly payments of €400.

However, fewer than 900 refugees have been accommodated in these homes so far.

Despite early proposals paving the way for the payment to be processed through Revenue and included in payroll, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has agreed her department will process the payment instead.

The measure will be formally signed by ministers after receiving the green light last Thursday at the first meeting of the cabinet’s subcommittee on the country’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

The government hopes the payment will incentivize more people to open their homes to refugees.

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