Four year wait for a council home in Laois

Four year wait for a council home in Laois
By Lynda Kiernan

The mountain left to climb to solve the Laois housing crisis, was laid bare to councillors this week, when the council unveiled an action plan that fell far short of supplying enough homes for the 1,343 names on its list.

Of that number, 259 households are waiting over four years for a home, while an extra 444 joined the list in the past year alone.

However, just 97 homes were allocated to tenants.

A total of 199 people presented as homeless in 2016, with 56 of them housed. Five households are currently in emergency accommodation.

The Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, issued yesterday, says the council aims to “ensure every household will have access to secure good quality housing suited to their needs at an affordable price.”

Their target is to supply 386 extra Laois homes between 2015 and the end of this year, with a government budget of €31million.

Councillors were told that 3,000 homes are lying vacant in Laois according to Census figures. However, the location of these houses is not known.

Director of Services for Housing Gerry Murphy confirmed the number.

“We expect details this year on where they are,” he said, thanking the housing staff for “working tirelessly,” he said

Much of the new 'action plan' is given over to what the council is already doing to house people, or has done.

Photo: council house in Clodiagh Way, Clonaslee