So far this year it has cost almost €2 million to fit out social housing in Tipperary
Some 209 applicants for social housing provided by Tipperary County Council have turned down the offer of houses in the past three years, according to figures obtained by The Nationalist under the Freedom of Information Act.
Some residents refused social houses because they were either happy in their existing accommodation, which was supported by HAP (Housing Assistance Payment); they were happy in their existing location; or they didn’t like the neighbours near a house in another estate where they had been offered accommodation.
Some residents also claimed there was anti-social behaviour in other estates, according to a spokesperson for the county council.
Houses that weren’t suitable to their needs was another reason for applicants turning down the offer of social houses, the spokesperson added.
98 applicants throughout Tipperary turned down the offer of social houses last year. That represented an increase from the figure of 74 in 2018.
So far this year, 37 applicants have refused houses. Applicants have the option to refuse the offer of two houses.
The council refused to confirm the length of time the five longest applicants had been on the social housing waiting list, stating that this request was refused in accordance with section 37 (1) of the Act relating to personal information.
Currently, there are 231 vacant social houses in the county. However, the council spokesperson said that not all of those houses were available for letting immediately.
Every house returned to the council by previous tenants required upgrade works before being let to other tenants.
Those repairs ranged from minor to major refurbishments, and at present 30 of the 231 vacant social houses in the county needed major refurbishment.
Local authorities have to apply to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for funding to carry out that major refurbishment work.
So far this year it has cost €1,947,500 to fit out social housing in Tipperary.
Refurbishment costs amounted to €2,346,188 last year, and €1,527,960 in 2018.
There are 4,860 occupied social houses in the county.
Twenty new social housing builds were provided by the county council in 2018, at a total cost of €2,571,074.
In 2019, 38 new social housing builds were provided in Tipperary at a cost of €6,730,071.
So far this year 26 new social housing builds have been provided at a cost of €2,411,501.
Those houses have been built at Glenconnor in Clonmel. 23 have been completed and the council will soon begin the process of allocating the houses.
The spokesperson added that of the council’s 3,594 applicants on the approved housing waiting list, 1,817 were in receipt of HAP.
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