THERE are 492 applicants for social housing in the Shannon Area, last week’s meeting of the town council heard.
Councillor Cathy McCafferty put forward a motion asking about the number of applicants on the waiting list, the number of social and affordable houses in Shannon, the number of unoccupied social houses and the number in private rental accommodation in receipt of rent supplement.
She also requested a statement on how the council plans to cope with demand for social and affordable housing over the next four years.
In a written report, Madeline McCarthy of Clare County Council’s housing section, stated that there have been 2,610 applications for social housing, with 492 of them in Shannon area.
The report stated that there are 238 social houses in Shannon, with 22 affordable houses at Cúl na Gréine and 16 affordable and step-down units under construction at Glaise na Rinne. Another 38 affordable units have received planning permission, also at Glaise na Rinne.
According to the report, there are five unoccupied social units in Shannon but the statement said that the number of people in private rental accommodation receiving rent supplement is not available.
Ms McCarthy predicted that it is unlikely there will be any new large-scale schemes.
“In the current economic climate, it is unlikely that any large-scale new schemes will receive approval from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Accordingly, alternative social housing options will continue to be explored to meet housing need in the Shannon area, including the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and the Social Leasing Initiative, which is a national and local information and awareness campaign, seeking expressions of interest is currently underway.”
Councillor McCafferty said that she has received several requests for the type of information provided.
Councillor Gerry Flynn said that information on the numbers receiving rent supplement should be available to the members. “There is no reason we shouldn’t know. How can we do our job if they won’t give us the information?”
Town manager Bernadette Kinsella said that the council don’t get updates on the numbers receiving rent supplement in different areas but that the council would formally write to the HSE requesting the information.