The Department of Justice has announced plans to lease 35 properties in Galway city centre to house asylum seekers.

The apartments and town houses are located on Dominick Street and on Munster Avenue.

The properties in question have been used for student accommodation and short-term tourist rental purposes in the past.

The department has agreed to lease the units for an initial duration of two years.

Comprising 30 apartments and five town houses, the "Own-Door Accommodation Centre" in Galway will open this week.

The one-bedroom and two-bedroom units all have separate front doors and are fully self-contained with kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms.

The department says they meet new standards, by providing independent living accommodation for all residents.

A communal area will provide meeting rooms, play facilities for children and a games room for teenagers.

A department spokesperson said the facility would reduce the need for temporary emergency accommodation places for those in Direct Provision.

When full, the units will house in the region of 140 people.

Families will be moved into the new centre on a phased basis. It is understood the first five families will move from a congregated Direct Provision accommodation centre in Galway in the coming days.

The contract to lease the properties was signed with Keldesso Ltd, following an ongoing regional procurement process for accommodation.