05 Jul 2022

Repeated delays to finish new Portlaoise social houses 'a disaster'

New Portlaoise social houses 'left idle'

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the new Clonrooske houses in Portlaoise.

New houses for people on the Laois council waiting list are almost finished for months, but nobody can move in until next year because of minor issues not completed. 

The 32 houses are in the Clonrooske housing estate in Knockmay, Portlaoise, built by the Clúid housing body for Laois County Council for its tenants.

Their completion date has been delayed several times since last March but now the tenants must wait until next year.

Some have been placed in emergency housing according to a councillor who lives in the adjoining estate.

Sinn Féin Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley is demanding that the houses be finished quickly.

"We were given a date in March, another date in May, then June or July and then early September. The explanation we are given now is we can't get contractors back to complete works in the bathrooms. I am aware there are difficulties with this but now we are pushed beyond Christmas. In August 15 tenants were allocated homes and some were on a notice to quit. The housing officer was able to accommodate them but there is fierce disappointment. 

"We are being fobbed off, they are coming back with the same answer for months. I'm not accepting this and I'm asking for a meeting with Clúid," she said.

She spoke at the October meeting of Portlaoise Muncipal District where she tabled a motion urging a meeting. 

The council's reply which Cllr Dwane Stanley is not accepting, said that they are in regular contact with Clúid about the delays and the houses should should be ready by the end of June 2022.

"Delay issues to date have been the availability of sub-contractors to complete minor fixes and ESB connection issues. Cluid have advised that all three phases will be delivered by Q2 2022 and all efforts are being made to ensure that Phases 1 and 2 are delivered prior to that date".

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald seconded and said the housing crisis is getting worse.

"This development has been a disaster for people waiting on a home. The crisis is getting worse, I've never seen it as bad. These houses would free up other accommodation. It's absolutely frightening. I have never had as many people coming to me. I don't find it acceptable, I know there are delays but to say to people last May that they are getting a house, it's not fair to leave them hanging on. It's gone beyond excuses. It so unfair for people waiting on homes to be told it will be after Christmas. If we could have a meeting with Clúid it would be helpful," she said.

A meeting is to be arranged. 

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