April 1, 2020
Vacant student accommodation should be freed up for frontline healthcare staff – Senator Máire Devine

Sinn Féin Senator Máire Devine has said that vacant student accommodation and hotels should be used to accommodate frontline healthcare staff where possible, saying that a number of nurses and other hospital staff who have returned home to find they are struggling to access accommodation or who cannot stay at home due to “at risk” people within the household.

Senator Devine said;

“Many Healthcare workers who have returned home to battle the COVID-19 outbreak here have found it difficult to find suitable accommodation through the current health emergency due to a lack of supply and some homes having ‘at risk’ people within the household.

“Many hoteliers and others have already offered accommodation capacity to the government to help with the crisis.

“However, the Government should also look at providing vacant student accommodation to nurses where possible to help ease the burden they face.

“Last night’s announcement from the Minister that healthcare workers should move out of home due to the risk of spreading the virus seems unhelpful. Where are they to go if so many are struggling to find accommodation as it is?

“Across Dublin 8 there are multiple villages of vacant student accommodation that could be of great benefit to the staff in St. James’ Hospital, the largest hospital in the State. 

“Many of our frontline workers are traveling long distances and working long shifts to tackle this emergency. Any support or solutions we could offer them would go a long way.

“My colleague Louise O’Reilly will be meeting with the HSE later today and will push for a solution to be found to this matter as soon as possible.”

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