Leitrim County Council is increasing its number of social housing units over the next two years to try and deal with demand across the county.
Cllr Brendan Barry asked for an update on the number of houses the Council intends to build over the next two years. He said “people are finding it extremely difficult to find places to rent and live currently.”
He was told the Council expect to deliver 63 units of varying size over the next 24 months, this will be a mixture of new builds and restored turnover houses.
The proposed locations are:
Carrick on Shannon 17 units
Manorhamilton 17 units
Ballinamore 14 units
Drumshanbo 5 units
Dromahair 4 units
Drumsna 4 units
Kiltyclogher 2 units
Cllr Brendan Barry was happy with the reply and said it was good to see an increase as previously the Council had expected to create 25 houses per year.
Cllr Barry said there are a large number of Leitrim houses on the market for sale due to the price of property, he said this is squeezing renters out of these houses to make way for people who can afford to buy homes. He said many families have been placed on notice, that the house they are renting will be going on the market in the next few months.
Cllr Barry was supported by Cllrs Sean McGowan and Enda McGloin who were both happy to hear that these figures reflect a mix of new and turn key developments.
Cllr Justin Warnock also welcomed the news but said he didn't see any new houses for Kinlough, which he said is “very worrying” given the large population living there. Mary Quinn Director of Services said Kinlough is included in the five year programme.
It was also noted at the Leitrim County Council meeting on Monday that there have been no increases in the Housing Assistant Payment rates in Leitrim for three years.
Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire said this was unfortunate and that landlords should be aware that payments have not increased and more support is needed.
Cllr Barry said he did not think a family would get a house anywhere in Leitrim at a limit of €500 a month, he said the rate is way off with current rent prices.
He said while the Minister for Housing did not want to raise HAP payments “he does have the power to cap rents.”
Cllr Mary Bohan informed council members that a review of HAP payments is currently underway.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.