Wednesday, June 29, 2022

By Majella Loftus

More than one thousand social houses will be constructed in Mayo over the next four years.

Mayo County Council official Simon Shevlin told a meeting of the council’s strategic policy committee (SPC) on housing that of the 1,004 units planned over the next four years, 209 will be in Ballina, 283 in Castlebar, 262 in the Claremorris/Swinford District and 250 in Westport.

“The target is based on recorded data for social housing needs in the municipal districts,” he explained. “The set target for this year is 90 units and at present we have identified 91 built units to be completed in 2022. A further 12 units are at the proposal stage, making the expected units for delivery this year at 103 expected units.”

Social housing developments are currently under construction at Foxford Road in Ballina, Humbert Mall in Castlebar and Silverbridge in Claremorris.

The Government target for social housing in Mayo next year is 151 units and, of these, 87 are ‘identified as being finished in 2023’ with a further 63 at proposal stage.

“These include a further 30 units at Foxford Road, Ballina, 22 at Lios na Circe in Castlebar and 16 in Mulranny,” said Mr Shevlin.

The council official said the Government target for 2024 is 154 units but the council expects to exceed that by delivering 181 units.

“It is hoped to develop 21 units in Kiltimagh, a further 16 units at Lios na Circe and 50 units in Westport.”

Cllr Michael Kilcoyne said he was concerned the council was working with voluntary housing bodies that had not disclosed their accounts.

“I am very concerned we are depending on them to supply houses when we should be doing it ourselves. In Lios na Circe, one side of the road is owned by Mayo County Council while on the other side the houses are leased to a housing agency. One side can buy their houses while the other side can’t.”

Cllr Christy Hyland said if the income band for social housing was extended beyond €27,500 for couples, more people could avail of the houses.

“It is a joke, it is 11 years since the bands were reviewed and they should now be extended to €50,000. The Government is afraid the housing list will increase further. This is not ‘Housing for All’.”

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