County Hall, Kilkenny: 'It is our intention to ensure the minimum impact on our existing social housing applicants while also honouring our humanitarian commitment and welcoming families in real need'
Kilkenny is to begin welcoming the first Syrian families next month for resettlement as part of the Irish Government’s commitment to The Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
It's been revealed that the areas being considered for the first 18 families are Piltown, Urlingford, Callan, Rosbercon, Graignamanagh and Ferrybank. The council has said it will examine additional locations including Thomastown, Castlecomer and Kilkenny in 2018 for the remaining families, but other areas may need to be considered also depending on requirements of families and communities.
Around 25 to 30 Syrian families will be welcomed to the county this year and next. The hope is to house and resettle two to four families at a time, beginning in December. This is to ensure 'greater integration and greater supports for both the families and the welcoming communities'.
In a statement, Kilkenny County Council said that it and other agencies are delighted to welcome and support the resettlement of Syrian families.
"It is intended to purchase houses where possible and some houses will also be provided by Approved Voluntary Housing Bodies," reads the statement.
"It is our intention to ensure the minimum impact on our existing social housing applicants while also honouring our humanitarian commitment and welcoming families in real need to our county.
"In undertaking our commitment to the resettlement process Kilkenny County Council has established a local Resettlement Inter-Agency Working Group. This Working Group will ensure the provision of appropriate supports and services which will include the appointment of a Resettlement Worker and an Intercultural Worker to support families in their transition to life in Kilkenny."