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The for sale signs at Béal an Imbhir, Kilrush. Photograph by John Kelly

Kilrush social housing issue rumbles on

A KILRUSH resident has claimed that Clare County Council will be under pressure to “hand pick” possible social housing residents at Béal an Inbhir in Kilrush. Joanne Carrig, who lives on Pound Street in the town, has been on the social housing list in the town for 12 years and is seeking one of the 10 to 13 houses that may become available under social housing in the estate, which is located close to Shanakyle Gravyard.
Several ‘For sale’ signs have recently appeared on the estate.
“In my opinion, the pressure is on the council to go and hand pick who is going to be put back there,” she said.
Ms Carrig maintains that not everybody can afford to buy a house.
“Fair play to you if you have bought your house but the way the economy has gone these days, circumstances can change very quickly for people,” she said.
Ms Carrig maintains that everybody would ideally like to be in a position to buy a house themselves.
“Just because you don’t go to work, doesn’t mean you don’t work. There are people who are in social housing who have families and have to get up early in the morning to look after their children. Of course, everyone would like to get a job but it’s not easy to get work. There are people who have worked most of their lives but have maybe lost their jobs,” she pointed out.
In a statement on the issue, Clare County Council said they have engaged with representatives of this local residents’ group to listen to their concerns.
“Both parties are working together to ensure that a sensitive and balanced approach is taken to utilising vacant housing in the development to respond to those who have a housing need in the town. This aims to achieve a sustainable housing mix. This means matching home-owners’ needs or concerns with the needs of those from the local community seeking a home who could contribute much to building a new neighbourhood together. This process will be gradual and planned,” the council statement read.
“Clare County Council is committed to delivering on the Government’s prioritisation of housing needs. This includes examining new construction, leasing and purchasing. This will occur across all of Clare. Exploring vacant houses in Kilrush occurs in this wider county and national context.
“A meeting organised by the council, in late May at The Haven Arms, was purposely for residents to receive feedback from representatives who met with the local authority. The council is committed to continuing this level of engagement with these representatives. The housing department has also met with the elected representatives for the West Clare Municipal District to discuss the proposals,” Clare County Council revealed.
“The resident representatives discussed the good estate management service and strict tenancy agreements that accrue as benefits of Clare County Council purchasing some vacant houses in estates. The same estate management model would not apply to houses they are purchased by investors or let in a private basis.
“There are more than 3,000 people on the housing waiting list in Clare. Clare County Council recognises the pressing need to make progress in providing housing for those in need of same,” the statement concluded.

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