Promise of extra cash to build Laois council homes

Housing

Promise of extra cash to build Laois council homes
By Lynda Kiernan lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

As the housing crisis continues to affect Laois, the solution of building council houses requires extra money, Laois County Council’s CEO has said.

John Mulholland was among 31 local government chiefs at the Housing Summit in Dublin on September 8.

Speaking to the Leinster Express, he said that new plans by the Minister include building rather than buying homes, and using Compulsory Purchase Orders on vacant dwellings.

The Laois CEO expects to receive more money next year to build more houses.

“I am looking forward to an increased provision in the 2018 budget,” he said.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy stated after the summit that “Budget is being redirected away from acquisitions and into direct build programmes for local authorities and housing bodies.”

He said “additional funding will be made available for social housing purposes and will be finalised in the context of the Budget”.

The national target of 3,000 new homes in 2018 across Ireland is being increased to 3,800 homes. Combined with Part VII homes from private developments, and refurbished social houses, it promises 5,000 new social housing homes.

In Laois, at the last count in June, there were almost 1,500 names on the council’s housing waiting list. By July this year, 131 people had presented to county hall reception as homeless. Emergency accommodation was given to 34 of them. The 2016 census counted 3,000 vacant premises in Laois.

Minister Murphy hopes some Dublin homeless will find homes in other counties.

“A Place Finder Service in each local authority will assist these homeless households who wish to relocate to access a suitable property,” he said.