07 Aug 2022

Tipperary housing crisis 'frustration' being taken out of councillors and staff

Tipperary housing crisis 'frustration' being taken out of councillors and staff

Tipperary housing crisis 'frustration' being taken out of councillors and staff

Tipperary County Council has been called on to help find accommodation for people who are caught in the renting system and who can’t afford to save for their own place.

Cllr Seamus Morris said that the social housing income threshold should be raised as the current €27,000 was too low for a family of two.

People who have been renting for 12 or 13 years were finding all of a sudden that the house is up for sale, he told the November meeting of Nenagh District Council

“We don’t seem to have anything to help people who are working,” he said. “They can’t save and pay for rent at the same time.”

He understood that the council was helping those on the housing list, but many of those people renting were not on that list and some had seen their rent rise by as much as €400 a month.

He called on the council to lift its ban on building timber homes, even on a temporary basis.

“Shipping containers can even be turned into housing,” he said.

Cllr Morris was supported by Cllr John Carroll, who said that people were sleeping in their cars and lock-up sheds, which was resulting in mental health issues.

He called for training for councillors who have to deal with people at risk.

District cathaoirleach Cllr Michael O’Meara fully supported training as people were “frustrated and can take it out on us. I can’t count the number of near misses I’ve had.”

While Cllr Fiona Bonfield and Cllr Joe Hannigan said the council was ahead of target on house building, Cllr Bonfield both agreed there was a need for more houses.

Cllr Hannigan said Irish Water had a role to play.

“Irish Water does not have the infrastructure in place. That is the root cause,” he said.

Housing director Sean Lonergan, while acknowledging the “frustration” of councillors, said council staff were equally frustrated with staff off work due to stress because of the abuse they are receiving from people.

He revealed that there were 793 people on the housing list in the district and pointed out that the private sector also had a role to play when it came to housing.

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