The housing problem in Laois is so bad it feels as if things have slipped back to the 1980s, when many people were forced to go back living in the family home with caravans out in the back garden.
So said Cllr Willie Aird, at the March meeting of Laois County Council.
Pointing out that the last time the council opened an estate in Portlaoise was 2004, Cllr Aird lamented the history of Conniberry Way, Old Knockmay Road, Portlaoise, which was proposed back in 2005 for 33 social houses.
After approval was granted in 2007 and the scheme went to tender in 2008, the department announced that funding was being considered, and in June 2010 the council went to tender, with tenders coming back in November 2010.
Then in April 2011, the department confirmed there was no funding available and the project was shelved.
In December 2014, a new project appraisal was submitted and budget approval given in February 2015. Approval came back on March 11 this year to go to tender.
“It’s 11 years later and no houses, no wonder we have a crisis,” said Cllr Aird. “Somebody somewhere is answerable, they should be made accountable.”
With thousands on the waiting list and no houses available, Cllr Aird said that somebody needed to stand up to those making these decisions.
“How did this happen? Who shelved it?” he demanded.