Sinn Féin candidate says housing
Hundreds of people in south and west Laois cannot afford a home or need social housing but just 29 council houses are in the pipline, according to Sinn Féin local election candidate Lorna Holohan Garry.
Ms Holohan Garrry said for housing shortages has been raised with her by many voters.
“Action is needed to address the shortage of social and affordable housing in Mountrath, Mountmellick, Rathdowney and Durrow. I have met hundreds of people while out canvassing that are in need of either an affordable home to purchase or social housing," she said.
"The number of social housing units planned for the Mountmellick/Borris in Ossory is totally inadequate to meet the demand. There are only 17 planned and in the pipeline for Mountmellick, six for Mountrath and six for Rathdowney. Housing is also needed in some of the villages such as Borris in Ossory and Clonaslee.
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"However, the delays in actually getting these started, due to Department of Housing bureaucracy is outrageous. Some of the plans are in place for years, with not a sign of them going to construction. It should not take four or five years to get from planning to construction," she said.
She said it is time to address what she called was underdevelopment of the Mountmellick/Borris in Ossory District. The candidate said the west and south of the county needs to be developed. She said population shifts towards Portlaoise and the northeast of the county must not continue.
"This issue has not been given enough attention and with the population of the county due to grow rapidly over the next two decades, this cannot all be concentrated in one area
"This will be one of my priorities if I am elected to represent the Mountmellick/Borris in Ossory District in the upcoming local elections,” she said.