Saturday, March 25, 2023

By Trevor Quinn

Mayo County Council has purchased a mere 45 housing units in the past three years.

The local authority purchased 22 properties last year, 15 in 2021 and eight in 2020.

With the lifting of the eviction ban looming on April 1 next, Castlebar-based Independent Cllr Michael Kilcoyne says the council needs to significantly increase the rate of house purchases and construction.

“I think the council should be buying more houses, but the fact is when the county council is buying houses it means people who might have got a mortgage aren’t able to buy those houses.

“The council should be building at least 100 or even up to 150 houses a year and that’s not happening either.

“You need a few years to build up the supply and they are the kind of numbers they should delivering.

“I’m talking about the council building them, I’m not talking about the Government and the grants that they give to the voluntary housing agencies.”

Cllr Kilcoyne said there is an estate on the Ballinrobe Road in Castlebar with a mixture of 77 finished and unfinished units.

“This has been falling down for 10 years. I begged the county council and the then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny to acquire that housing estate.

“There were some people who had paid a €10,000 booking deposit on those houses which they lost.

“They could have been given back that money and the county council could have acquired that estate for either social houses or affordable houses or a mixture.”

The Castlebar-based representative said people are going to be affected by the eviction ban and it’s causing so many problems because there are no (available) houses.

“People are very upset and there are some, particularly women and children, who are going to be on the street.

“I heard the Taoiseach himself saying the local authority would arrange accommodation for them, but the local authority can’t arrange accommodation for them when it’s not there.”

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