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16/09/2021

86 keys to Laois council homes but single people left waiting

86 keys to Laois council homes but single people left waiting

The former Presentation Convent in Portlaoise, to be converted to single council homes

Between brand new council houses, refurbished reletted houses and those offered by Clúid and other housing bodies, there have been 86 front door keys presented to Laois people waiting on the long housing list so far in 2021.

Laois County Council’s CEO John Mulholland gave the total at the May council meeting.

“86 people have received keys to homes and the number is increasing every week,” he said.

However the council said that there is a shortage of homes for single men and women.

Joe Delaney is the Director of Services for Housing.

“Single people are the dominant houshold type on our waiting list. We need to give more attention to this. It is difficult to get the right sites. The Convent site is the right site as is the county hotel. They will be developed in due time. It is expensive to build one bedroom accommodation, that is one of the challenges we do have to meet,” he said.

Cllr Willie Aird had highlighted the need for homes for single people at the meeting.

“It is great to see all the schemes coming forward now but there are a lot of fierce disappointed people. I hope some of the projects we can target single people in flats. They don’t have enough points to qualify for accommodation. There is a block on that age group, single people and ladies on their own,” he said.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald pointed out maisonettes left empty in Portlaoise town.

“There are maisonettes on Harpur’s Lane in Portlaoise, they were beautiful. They need a total revamp, we could look at that as a project,” she suggested.

There are 1,830 names waiting for a home on the council’s list. Almost 1,000 are staying in private rented accommodation and getting a Housing Assistance payment towards their rent cost.

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