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More than 3,000 on council housing waiting list

CLARE could be facing a crisis of housing the September meeting of the County Council heard.

In response to a motion from Councillor Cathal Crowe, director of housing Bernadette Kinsella informed the meeting there are 3,054 people on the county council’s waiting list for local-authority housing. She also provided a breakdown by electoral area, with 495 on the list in the Ennis area, 663 in the Ennistymon area, 372 in the Kilrush area, 814 in the Shannon area and 710 in the Killaloe area.
However, in her report, she said she expects a review will lead to many people being taken off the list. “The council are required to carry out an assessment of housing needs every three years. Up to this year, this entailed carrying out a root and branch review of all housing applications. This year, the council were only required to carry out a desktop review for the assessment of housing needs. However, the council has decided to carry out its own review as there is anecdotal evidence that a number of housing applicants are no longer residing in the Clare area. Initial indications suggest a significant number of applicants will be removed from the housing list as a result of the review. It is expected this exercise will be completed by November. Applicants who fail to make contact with the council as part of this review will be removed from the housing waiting list.
“It should be noted that applicants are required to inform the council if there are any changes in their circumstances. As properties become available for letting, the allocations team review applications for the area where these vacant properties are located. As part of these reviews, if the allocations team are unable to locate an applicant they may be removed from the housing list,” Ms Kinsella said.
Her report also stated 22 properties have been acquired by the council through the Social Leasing Scheme.
Councillor Crowe said the county is facing a crisis of housing and he would like to see how the figures compare to 2005, 2006 and 2007. “Several families in my own community are facing repossession of their homes by the banks,” he added. 
He added the council “need to look at prioritising funds for the mainstream of the population”.


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