West Cork towns to get 150 social housing units

August 1st, 2016 11:03 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

Simon Coveney

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SITES in Clonakilty, Macroom and Skibbereen have been chosen for social housing schemes, Minister Simon Coveney has announced.

The sites – at The Miles in Clonakilty, Oakwood in Macroom and Pound Hill in Skibbereen – will provide between 150 and 160 new homes, to cope with the current housing crisis in West Cork.

The homes will be built as part of a public/private partnership (PPP) deal between the State and private developers.

In June, The Southern Star reported that there had been a sharp rise in the number of homeless families in the region – with 57 referrals made to one housing body alone, between January and June.

The project announced last week is part of the Minister for Environment’s plan to build 450 new social housing units nationwide, which are to be delivered through a new PPP programme. The project, costing €100m, is being developed at eight sites nationwide in co-operation with the local authorities in each area.  Three of the sites are located in Cork, with one each in the cities of Galway and Waterford.  There is a further one site each in counties Clare, Kildare and Roscommon.

 The funding is part of a programme of investment totalling €300m in social housing through the public private partnership model.  The programme is to deliver 1,500 social housing units in total.

The plan is being rolled out in three bundles and this is the second bundle of sites.  

There will be 50 units built in each of the two sites at Skibbereen and Clonakilty, and between 50 and 60 units at the Macroom site.

Tenants will be allocated from the local authority social housing waiting list, in accordance with the Council’s allocation scheme. A recent report by Cork County Council said the Council has 7,814 approved housing applicants on its social housing list.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony says Minister Coveney must live up to his commitments on the social housing projects.  

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony commented: ‘There are hundreds of people across Cork on a waiting list for social housing. Many of these have been on the list for years. Despite this, building almost ground to a halt while little effort has been made to refurbish voids and make them fit for purpose. While the announcement of these new homes is welcome, the Government cannot become complacent about the speed in which these units need to be completed.  The last Minister announced a series of housing plans but failed to deliver on any of them,’ she warned.

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