Leitrim County Council has set out an ambitious plan to deliver 139 social houses across the county by 2026.
The Housing Delivery Action Plan puts forward how the council and approved housing bodies will provide social housing through direct local authority build as well as through turnkey and Part V arrangements to reduce the growing list of applicants on the housing waiting list.The local authority expects to slash the housing waiting list, which currently stands at 177 households (not including transfer applications) with mixed-tenure schemes, increase social housing stock and address other important issues such as vacancy.
This year alone Leitrim should see 30 new affordable homes delivered. The majority of houses needed are one and two bed and 47% of the applicants are aged between 25-44, with 33% aged between 45-66.
Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council Ita Flynn said the delivery will “ will make a significant and positive impact on the supply of social and affordable housing in Leitrim.” However Kinlough Cllr Justin Warnock believes the plan is “totally inadequate.”
The council’s biggest challenge to meet these targets is the lack of state-owned land. The Council own just 0.39ha in Carrick- on-Shannon.They hope to purchase 1.6ha in the Carrick-on-Shannon and 1.1ha in Manorhamiton. However, plans to purchase land in Kinlough and Ballinamore will have to wait until after 2026.
Carrick-on-Shannon is to benefit the most from the Housing Action Delivery Plan with 73 units earmarked for over the next five years.Manorhamilton should see 26 units being delivered and 17 units are planned for Ballinamore. Dromahair and Drumshanbo are each expected to get ten units, while Kinlough is set for eight social houses before 2026.After 2026, the council hope to purchase 1ha in Kinlough to build 30 units and 0.7ha in Ballinamore to build 20 units.
Cllr Justin Warnock told council members this month that in Kinlough and Tullaghan every week the waiting list grows longer. He wanted the Housing Strategy to be reviewed in light of the new population growth published in the Census figures.
He was informed that the Housing Strategy would not be reviewed until after the County Development Plan is completed in March 2023. Cllr Warnock stated, “Kinlough can’t wait two years.”
Speaking at the launch of the action plan, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council Ita Reynold Flynn said, “The targets set out in this plan show Leitrim County Council’s commitment to delivering social housing for the county and to playing our part in addressing this national challenge.
“We know what we need to do, and we are confident that working closely with our Approved Housing Body partners and with the Department of Housing, the targets can be achieved, and we will make a significant and positive impact on the supply of social and affordable housing in Leitrim.”
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