At a special meeting on Friday last Laois County Council decided to go ahead with a housing scheme in each of the four electoral areas to meet the urgent demands of applicants.
The members were told by the county manager, Mr E.M. Murray, that there was a list of 135 persons who needed accommodation as their dwellings had been condemned.
If the council wished in the case of other prospective tenants, they could decide on subsidising those who would not be eligible for the maximum two-thirds for council houses.
A long and lively debate ensued and the members decided to meet again to consider progress in three months.
Senator C.B. McDonald expressed his disappointment that the county medical officer of health was not present.
Mr J. Costigan said that in his area there were at least 17 applicants for houses.
Mr Murray announced that there was a total of 135 applicants for houses, and such people were those who had or resided in condemned houses.
In reply to Mr T. Campion, the manager said that they had not received any reports or applications about accommodation or requirements in the Mountrath area. In 1961 they had a total of 135 applicants, and it was only natural that there would be some increase on that number.
Some of that total of 135 would include people in Mountrath who are in need of housing. In the meantime a number of others had applied, and the list will be dealt with in rotation and as soon as possible.
To a query by Mr Byrne, the manager said that there was a difference between Stradbally and the adjoining area. One must distinguish between houses being erected in rows in a town or village, as apart from separate labourers’ cottages in the countryside. Some houses would be required in the perimeter area.
Mr Byrne: I’m sure that many must have applied from Stradbally and district.
Manager: We have not received any calls for people badly in need of housing from that area. However, most of the applicants in the 135 total are from rural areas.