The government will approve a monthly payment of €400 for people who welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes

The government must approve the introduction of a new monthly payment of €400 for people who welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Shelter and Support for Ukrainians must agree to introduce the Recognition Payment to incentivize people to take in people fleeing the war in Ukraine sparked by the Russian invasion.

The government is budgeting between 20 and 50 million euros per year for the program and the amount that will be spent will depend on the number of people providing accommodation for refugees. On Wednesday, 29,433 Ukrainian refugees arrived in Ireland.

New legislation will need to be drafted to support the introduction of the recognition payment and how it is to be administered. The conditions around the payment are also to be discussed. The government wants the payment to go only to people who donate their homes or belongings to refugees for charity.

Some landowners fear charging Ukrainians rent while enjoying payment and ministers are eager to ensure that this does not happen.

Ahead of the meeting, there were discussions about which revenue commissioner is handling the payment, but the exact mechanism for paying out the money is yet to be determined.

Work is underway on how the scheme, which mirrors a similar payment in the UK, will be administered over the coming months.

The Taoiseach and a group of his senior ministers meet to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis and, at the heart of the debate, the signing of the new scheme. The proposal will have to be submitted to a full Cabinet meeting before the legislation is introduced in the Dáil.

Payment is introduced after half of the accommodation offers made through the Red Cross have materialized.

The government initially said it would rely solely on the generosity of the public to provide housing for the refugees.

However, the significant drop in the number of people registering for aid led the government to draft legislation providing for the monthly payment of €400.

The meeting will also hear an update from Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien on the steps his department is taking to welcome refugees.

Local authorities have been asked to identify public buildings that could be redeveloped into housing for Ukrainians.

Mr O’Brien is also due to brief a separate meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on housing on steps to address the long-running housing crisis.

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Elaine R. Knight