More than 150 tenants and families around Laois will move into new homes by the end of March, despite current Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions.
Construction work on social houses that are almost ready has been classed as essential work by the Government.
It means that work is flying ahead in different estates around Laois, with contractors focusing on the only sites they are allowed to work on at present.
The silver lining is that the keys to 156 brand new warm homes will be handed over to people living on very low incomes and in need of a home next month.
Laois County Council CEO John Mulholland highlighted the work at the January meeting of Laois County Council, held online.
“This is a very positive message in the middle of all these difficulties in our community. They will be ready very shortly, it is welcome news,” he said.
There are 40 new homes coming for Portarlington.
These include 22 houses in Ballymorris built directly by Laois County Council (pictured), and 18 apartments in The Glen, Kilnacourt, built by an Approved Housing Body (AHB) called Co-Operative Ireland.
In Portlaoise another 58 homes will be ready by the end of March.
These include the final nine of 36 on the Borris road, built by the Tuath AHB.
The final 15 of 30 houses at Bellingham being built by the housing body Clúid will also be ready.
Anther 10 will be ready at Lake Drive Kilminchy, built by Co-Operative Ireland.
Cluid will also deliver 10 units at Holdbrook, Portlaoise, the first half of that estate, with the last 10 to be ready by September.
They will deliver another 14 at Clonrooske Abbey, phase 1 of a 32 unit project.
Mountrath is getting six units at Shannon Street, built by the council.
Graiguecullen is getting 20 units on the Ballickmoyler road, by Co-Operative Ireland.
Ballylinan will get 12 homes at Doirín Alainn, built by the North & East AHB.
A third method of providing social housing is by 'turnkey projects', whereby the council buys completed schemes from developers.
This will give another 18 homes by the end of March to people on the waiting list.
There are 11 on Main Street Borris-in-Ossory, and seven more in Clonaslee.
Six social housing building sites in Laois are currently shut down by the Level 5 restriction.
These are at Gleann na Glaise Ballyroan, Moore Street Rathdowney, Pattison's Estate Mountmellick, Sean Doire Durrow, Coolroe Ballybrittas, and finally the Oaklee AHB's site for 26 homes in Droughill, Portarlington.
In 2020, Laois County Council delivered 261 new homes to social housing applicants.
By the end of 2021, it expects to have handed the keys to another 253 new tenants.
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