Alternative accommodation is being sought for more than 50 people after it emerged that a direct provision centre in Dublin is to close in the coming weeks.

Watergate House is located on Usher's Quay in Dublin City Centre and currently houses 52 people.

Of those, 29 are still in the asylum seeking process and 23 have permission to remain.

According to the Department of Justice, the apartment block's contractor does not wish to extend the lease when it expires in June of this year.

The department said the circumstances are outside of its control.

Residents have been told the centre will close its doors in late June.

The Irish Refugee Council has said the people living in Watergate House should be assisted into new accommodation in the Dublin area with as little disruption as possible.

The council also said that the occupancy levels in direct provision centres is currently at its highest ever level at 96% and said there were only 49 vacancies remaining.

The council said it is concerned the closure of Watergate House will exacerbate the situation.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said it will work with the DePaul housing agency to assist residents who have leave to remain to move into suitable alternative accommodation.

It also said the 29 people who are still seeking asylum will be relocated in other direct provision accommodation in advance of the closure.

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