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04 Dec 2021

‘Private sector has failed the housing market’ hears Thurles municipal district

1,000 housing applicants in the municipal district and only 47 vacant homes

‘Private sector has failed the housing market’ hears Thurles municipal district

Thurles municipal district offices

Housing and homelessness were top of the agenda at this month’s Thurles Templemore Roscrea municipal district, with many councillors expressing concerns about the severe squeeze on Tipperary’s housing market


Cllr Sean Ryan said a lot of HAP tenants have been given six months to leave as the landlord is selling the property. “Are we liaising with those tenants who have been given six months’ notice, and it’s literally a ticking clock?”


The problem is more acute this year than before. Also, the housing loan application system is such that an applicant’s wage must be less than €26,000 in order to qualify. “It’s one of the hardest schemes to get into in the country.


Other counties have a higher income threshold.” People who can’t avail of a Council house try to obtain a housing loan but they can’t meet the savings pattern that is necessitated by the scheme. “Only eight successful applications have been made out of 129 - that’s less than 2%, it’s very very low,” said Cllr Ryan. “A lot of those people are just missing out on a Council house, and many of them are working and doing their very best.”


Cllr Ryan also inquired if anything could be done for six houses in Tara Drive in Gortnahoe village which didn’t make a retrofit scheme. “Unfortunately, they were built before a certain date and they weren’t eligible for the scheme.”


Cllr Jim Ryan asked if the new housing development in Two-Mile-Borris would have a wall high enough to divide it from Harkins Park. The elderly residents of Harkins Park are concerned that it could be climbed over. Also, an unfinished estate in Gortnahoe of 35 house, “looks terrible”. Is there any possibility the Council could take over this estate and finish it off, asked Cllr Ryan.

Cllr Noel Coonan said there are about 1,000 housing applicants in the municipal district and only 47 vacant homes. “I think the figures speak for themselves. Every person’s ideal wish is to own their own home, and that is going to prove very challenging.”

To even rent a house now is very difficult, as the supply is “not there.”

Mr Lonergan said they are fighting a “losing battle” every day in relation to notices to quit by landlords seeking to sell up, and the issue has been highlighted with the Department and the Minister. “The problem is that there is a supply issue, and the private sector has failed the market” in that it has not provided enough supply to address the issue.

Full story in this week's Tipperary Star 

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