05 Jul 2022

Laois councillors push modular homes to solve housing crisis

Laois councillors push modular homes to solve housing crisis

A rapid build modular home

Laois councillors are urging the council to get building timber modular homes to rapidly solve the housing crisis.

With little or no houses available to rent in Loais, soaring rent prices and the urgent need of temporary homes for Ukraine war refugees, Cllr James Kelly is leading a call to install rapid-build accommodation.

He tabled a motion to the May meeting of Laois County Council.

"That Laois County Council as a matter of urgency identify what lands and serviced sites are available in the county to fast track the provision of purposely designed and built modular accommodation to address the housing crisis. 

"This type of rapid-build housing is now essential with the influx of Ukrainian refugees and the unprecedented increases in housing waiting lists, emergency and direct provision accommodation,” Cllr Kelly said.

"The number one priority is the housing crisis. With the cost of materials escalating, modular accommodation would be a huge saving. It would address the housing cris and the crisis in Ukraine. Modular homes only cost €80,000 or €100,000," he said.

Cllr Aisling Moran suggests that businesses sponsor the homes.

Cllr Ollie Clooney meanwhile claimed that sons are growing sharing a single bedroom with their mothers.

"Some children are growing up in the one room. To have a teenage son and his mother in one room, it's not good," he said.

Cllr Barry Walsh does not believe that the council can build enough houses fast enough to stem the crisis.

"The way they are going, they are not going to achieve the numbers. They haven't the workforce. Modular is the only way to go," he said.

In response, the council said that all kinds of houses are being considered.

They note that in the new County Development Plan for 2021-2027 adopted this year, it zones zoned lands for a future population of approximately 5,500 people up to 2027. Those lands can be used to accommodate private, affordable and social housing in a range of locations.

They aim not just to deliver but to exceed the targets issued by the Dept of Housing for social housing build delivery over the next 5 years in Laois.

The council plans to buy more land for future housing and serviced housing sites across Laois.

"We continue to seek opportunities in this regard. All methods of construction suggested will be considered with site suitability for rapid build, cost and speed of delivery in mind but are subject to Department approval in the provision of social housing."

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