THE odds of getting a local authority house in the Shannon Electoral area are mighty slim at the moment.
There are 626 applicants for housing but just 14 houses are available in three locations. That’s the official position reported to Shannon Electoral Area councillors at their meeting on Tuesday.
The statistical breakdown provided to Councillor Gerry Flynn set out that there are 447 applicants in Shannon where seven houses are vacant; 90 seeking housing in Sixmilebridge, where four houses are available and 89 chasing three houses in Newmarket-on-Fergus.
The stark figures prompted a dire prediction from Councillor Tony Mulcahy. Harking back to last year’s collapse of the house building sector and its provision for social housing and the cutbacks in local authority funding, “no more houses are going to be built for the next 10 years” he forecast and added, “if I’m proved wrong, I’ll treat everyone here to a drink”.
Councillor Flynn had asked for an up-to-date list of applicants for housing to be provided to the elected representatives. However, he was told that without the consent of individual applicants for housing, the council was prevented from giving out housing lists under the Data Protection Act.
Councillor Flynn challenged the official interpretation and pointed out that he was not asking for the list to be made public but to be made available to individual elected members. But he was told “there is a problem” by Councillor Patricia McCarthy, who was chairing the meeting.
“It’s bad enough that we are not being informed about who are to be allocated houses, now we are not to be told who is even on the housing list. But if undesirables get the houses, we will be the ones to be blamed,” Councillor Flynn declared.