More money needed to solve Kildare housing crisis

OVER €3.5m has been earmarked for social housing in County Kildare – but it won’t go close to solving problems caused by the housing list.Some 4,000 people are on Kildare County Council’s housing list seeking a variety of accommodation.

OVER €3.5m has been earmarked for social housing in County Kildare – but it won’t go close to solving problems caused by the housing list.Some 4,000 people are on Kildare County Council’s housing list seeking a variety of accommodation.

A total of 27 houses are to be built between now and 2014 in the county.

Ten will be provided as voluntary housing initiatives at Station Road, Newbridge (6) and Tullylost, Rathangan (4). These have been earmarked for people with intellectual disabilities (Rathangan) and elderly folk or those with a disability (Newbridge).

Separately, a total of 13 units will be build at Athgarvan Road, Newbridge.

The pool of money also provides funding for Kildare County Council to buy a total of 4 three-bedrooms semi detached houses at a location which has not yet identified.

The money allocated to County Kildare is part of a €100m budget earmarked by the Government for local authorities all over Ireland and the 808 houses will be the last to be built by the current Government. Cllr Suzanne Doyle welcomed the allocation of money but said more needs to be done.

“Clearly this won’t tackle the housing accommodation crisis in the county and this problem is especially bad north of Kildare town. There is no doubt that there is a housing crisis in County Kildare,” added Cllr. Doyle.

Many council tenants are accommodated through private landlords rather than directly by the council and Cllr. Doyle criticised the council for pressurising tenants to negotiate rent reductions.

“Letters have gone from the council to tenants urging them to get rent reduced. In some cases these tenants are vulnerable people, sometimes with mental health difficulties. The council should dealing the landlords directly,” added Cllr. Doyle.

- Paul O’Meara