Households are expected to be paid up to €400 a month to help with the costs of housing Ukrainian refugees, under plans being discussed by Government.

Discussions have taken place between the secretaries general of a number of government departments and sources told RTÉ News that a figure of "up to €400" is being proposed.

The proposed payment, which could be announced as early as next week, would aim to cover costs such as extra utilities bills, associated with housing those fleeing the war.

It would also act as an incentive to boost the number of accommodation places available for the number of refugees arriving in Ireland.

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has asked a number of ministers to bring forward options on how to support households who accommodate refugees.

Yesterday, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that there will be no cap to the number of refugees Ireland accepts, even as the Government admits it is facing a struggle to house arriving Ukrainians.

Around 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived since the war began at the end of February.

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While numbers arriving have fallen in recent days, the Government expects it to rise again in the coming weeks.

Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman added that group accommodation will become a "more substantial" part of Ireland's plan to house refugees.

NGOs say 'over-reliance on volunteer-led response'

Groups representing refugees have told the Taoiseach there is an "over-reliance on a volunteer-led response" to integrating Ukrainians arriving here.

They warn this is leading to different levels of support being provided across the country.

A group of NGOs, led by the Irish Refugee Council, met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin as well as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Roderic O'Gorman, in Government Buildings.

They discussed the crisis which is likely to see 33,000 Ukrainians arriving in Ireland by the end of next month.

The group, which includes Community Work Ireland, Doras, the Ukraine Crisis Centre Ireland and the West Clare Family Resource Centre, also raised concerns about the possibilities for racism.

It said Ireland could receive up to 200,000 refugees seeking protection from the war in Ukraine.

It said there is "significant pressure" on public representatives, civil and public servants, community organisations and others in providing an emergency response, something the group warned is "not sustainable".

It warned the level of supports and the range of services required will be far greater than what was experienced during Covid.

While recognising the "valuable contribution that volunteers are and will continue to make" it said the "over-emphasis" on a volunteer-led approach, is "neither appropriate, realistic or sustainable".

It said: "What is required is a multi-disciplinary and professional approach requiring dedicated staff across a range of disciplines including community work and resettlement."

Following the meeting, the representatives said: "We are concerned that the difference in standards, approaches and levels of support being provided are largely dependent on the strength of community infrastructure and local communities.

The group is calling for the establishment of an independent, high level national director to be appointed to lead the response to the crisis.

It is also calling for the establishment of a National Ukraine Response Taskforce to oversee a national plan for emergency provision of services and integration of people fleeing Ukraine.

"There is an immediate need for coordinated, cross-sectoral strategic planning and implementation, with urgent additional resourcing nationally and locally for immediate crisis response and permanent resettlement," the group said.