Forty new homes will be constructed in the Glencarrick area of Roscrea and will help with the town's ever growing demand for social housing.
Nine new homes will also be created in the centre of the town in the Green Street and Grove Street area.
There are currently 240 approved applicants waiting for housing in Roscrea and it is hoped the 49 new homes will help ease the ever burgeoning need for social housing.
Cathaoirleach of the Municipal Council for the Roscrea area, Noel Coonan (FG), said he has never seen as many people in need of housing assistance as there are now and that the area is in the throes of a “housing crisis”.
Cllr. Coonan said that many families are faced with leaving their current accommodation for a multitude of reasons and that the local authority cannot accommodate them.
“This very welcome news and I'm delighted to see we're really pushing on with what has been a long running saga”, Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Cllr. Michael Smith (FF) told the monthly meeting of the Municipal District on Monday.
“This development was first announced in 2014 and now offers hope to people on the housing list and chose Roscrea as where they want to live”, Cllr. Smith said.
The high demand for four bedroom houses in Roscrea was also highlighted and Cllr. Smith said he hopes “there will be a nice mix of different houses” in the Glencarrick development, which he described as a “lovely site” for homes.
Cllr. Smith also called on the local authority to examine the income threshold for entitlement to social housing, highlighting the discrepancies between neighbouring counties where the income limit is far higher.
The current threshold limit in Tipperary is approximately €10k, while in Limerick it is almost €30k for a single person, Cllr. Smith pointed out.
Thurles based Independent councillor, Jim Ryan, told the meeting that failures in the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme are fuelling the increase in demand for local authority houses.
Cllr. Ryan said HAP is a good short-term measure to ease the demand, but the system offers no security for residents.
“People thought their housing needs were met for the next 10 or 15 years when they were successful under the HAP scheme - but never in their wildest dreams did they ever think that after two or four years they would be given notice to quit these houses for various reasons given by landlords”, Cllr. Ryan said.
Roscrea based Independent councillor and member of the Lowry Team, Shane Lee, told the meeting the failures of the housing system is a Departmental issue and it would be “unfair to blame Tipperary's housing officials”.
Welcoming the news of 40 new homes for Glencarrick, Cllr. Lee said he was happy to see “we're moving the right direction”.
“With over 200 applicants on the Council list it's very welcome. There are over 60 families qualified for three bedroom houses and I hope they are included”, he said.
Executive Engineer, Kieran Malone, told the meeting the Council plans to create a mix of different types of units and that the Glencarrick development will be subject to public consultation.