THE towns of Dunmanway and Rosscarbery are to get 27 new local authority houses from Cork County Council, to help alleviate waiting lists there.
Junior Minister Jim Daly confirmed to The Southern Star this week that €5.5m funding has been made available ‘to purchase and construct additional houses to assist local families who are currently on the local authority housing list, and awaiting permanent housing.’
It is estimated that up to 400 men, women and children are accessing sheltered and temporary accommodation in Co Cork every day.
In West Cork alone, 101 referrals were made this year to the voluntary support group Novas, which works with the homeless – an almost 50% increase on 2016.
The figure includes 40 families and 90 children.
Minister Daly said: ‘I can confirm that Cork County Council has been given the go-ahead to increase local authority housing units in Cork South West, in the Rosscarbery and Dunmanway area’.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has approved a provisional budget for Cork County Council to deliver the 27 new homes under the Social Housing Investment Programme.
‘A combined €5.5m has been made available to deliver these necessary homes for families waiting on the housing list,’ he added, saying that funding is now available to construct 20 units in Dunmanway, and planning permission will be sought by the developer in the coming months.
‘It’s hoped that construction will begin in early 2018. Funding to purchase a further seven houses in the Rosscarbery area has also been made available and these houses are already constructed, with minor internal works to be completed, before being turnkey ready to occupy.’
Minister Daly said €4m has been allocated to the project at St Mary’s Road in Dunmanway, with Rosscarbery seeing an investment of the remaining €1.5m to purchase the units at Downeen Cross.
These units follow on from last year’s announcement to approve funding for 100 units in Clonakilty and Skibbereen.
When Novas released their figures for West Cork’s homeless in September, Una Burns, head of policy and communications, said that if local authorities had continued to build social housing at rates prior to the recession, which were not particularly high, we would now have 31,000 more social houses nationally.
‘Their absence is being felt everywhere from West Cork to Dublin city centre,’ she said.