The Stradbally, Laois homes under construction.
This August will see the keys to a total of 73 brand new homes being handed over to people on Laois County Council’s housing waiting list.
Several Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) have built the new homes in Portlaoise, Portarlington, Graiguecullen and Stradbally, with more to follow in coming months as schemes are completed.
On the Borris road in Portlaoise, Tuath has finished phase one of a 36 unit development. Keys to nine homes will be handed out from late July, eight more during August, the rest in October.
North & East have built 16 homes on Main Street, Stradbally. All are finished and tenanting began on July 27.
Co-Operative Ireland built 20 homes on the Ballickmoyler Road, Graiguecullen. Expected delivery is this August. That body also built 16 units in the Glen, Kilnacourt, Portarlington. All are allocated and tenants are now moving in.
In Doirin Alainn, Ballylinan, the first two units of a 12 unit project by North & East are ready, with the rest due by the end of this year.
Other AHB builds continue in Bellingham and Marian Avenue in Portlaoise, with work to start by Respond in Wilton Lawns Portarlington by autumn.
On the Dublin road in Portlaoise, 36 homes will be built by Co-Operative Ireland but the council says that amendments had to be made to the planning permission and so the contractor is not currently on site.
On top of these, Laois County Council says it is in discussion with various Approved Housing Bodies to build another 645 social housing units in Laois.
This includes 379 in the Portlaoise Municipal District, 128 in the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick MD and 138 in the Portarlington Graiguecullen MD.
All AHB homes will be rented out to tenants chosen by Laois County Council.
The main difference to council houses is that the housing bodies continue to own and maintain the homes.
It is a government policy swing away from council built houses which may be bought out by tenants.
It helped people on low incomes to own their own homes but also depleting the amount of houses for rent to new tenants over time.
There are about 1,800 names on Laois County Council’s housing waiting list, including people receiving a HAP payment to rent private accommodation.