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28/07/2021

Limerick councillors' concerns about social housing ‘completely ignored’ – mayor

Limerick councillors' concerns about social housing ‘completely ignored’ – mayor

Mayor of Limerick Michael Collins said the views of public representatives were “completely ignored”.

A PRESENTATION by council staff on planned housing developments for the Newcastle West municipal district became heated.

Information was being given on the Rebuilding Ireland Programme at last month’s local area meeting. When details were being given about a 30 unit social housing development in Woodfield, Newcastle West, Cllr John Sheahan was first to raise concerns of local residents.

He asked who the provider is to be and was told Cluid – an authorised housing body (AHB). The meeting heard that the council were supportive of AHB (Authorised Housing Bodies) applications to build once they have demonstrated there was a need.

“There are many young couples looking to buy a house. Nobody wants to develop for them. You get more (money) from approved housing bodies – it’s a gravy train,” said Cllr Sheahan.

Cllr Tom Ruddle asked if other site could be entertained as there has been “opposition from existing residents”.

Cllr Jerome Scanlan said there had been a private meeting between a number of councillors and housing staff with regard to the Woodfield development.

“It is extremely disappointing that we didn’t get the courtesy of a return call. Residents in Woodfield don’t want this development. Can we not finish one before we commence another? It is not good enough. It is an affront to public representatives. We’ve been given the two fingers,” said Cllr Scanlan.

Mayor of Limerick Michael Collins said the views of public representatives were “completely ignored”.

“This is going to create a huge amount of hassle. The residents there paid a lot of money during the boom for those houses. Their concerns have been completely ignored. That information we gave is going to come back and bite the authority,” said Mayor Collins.

A council staff member said the development with Cluid as the provider was “locked in”. It is due to be completed in late December of this year.

Cllr Scanlan said, “Nobody came back to us”.

“The plans are not thought through. If you can’t talk to people on the ground you are going nowhere,” said Cllr Scanlan.

Mayor Collins said: “You are going to end up with a half finished estate with the council picking up the tab.”

According to its website, Clúid Housing is an award winning, not-for-profit charity providing over 8,000 affordable, high quality homes to people in housing need.

“Clúid has grown to become the largest approved housing body (AHB) in Ireland.

“There are currently nearly 69,000 households on local authority waiting lists for social housing.

“Although Clúid is a not-for-profit charity, our team know it is essential that we operate efficiently and effectively and ensure that our financial stewardship is of the highest standard,” it says on its website.

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