The Mayor of Fermoy, Cllr Noel McCarthy, says that the lack of social housing in the North Cork area has gone well beyond the critical phase and needs to be dealt with urgently.
Over 300 people are currently looking for housing in Fermoy town alone and there are over 1500 people on the housing waiting list in the North Cork region in general. Cllr McCarthy called on the Government to readdress the national housing policy as a matter of urgency.
“I raised the issue of the lack of social housing at the latest meeting of Cork County Council’s Northern Division, Fermoy Town Council has a waiting list of over 300 applicants alone, the total for the entirety of North Cork is multiples of that. Where does this situation end?
"We need the Government to address this issue with new thinking on how to mobilise the many people who have lost their jobs in the last year in a way that can reduce unemployment and remedy this situation,” the Mayor of Fermoy said.
There are many options available to the government according to the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), “The demand for social housing has increased over the last few years, as more people lost their jobs this has put pressure on the waiting lists. At the same time the government has reduced the amount of capital funding for social housing.
"However the government has other options to provide housing for people on the waiting lists, these include working with housing association like Cluid and they also have the option of leasing housing from the private sector,” Donal McManus of the ICSH told The Avondhu.
In Mitchelstown alone there are over 278 currently looking for social housing.
“We have been told that Cork County Council does not have the funds to do up any vacant houses from now until the end of the year. Many tenants are willing to do any necessary work themselves and I think the council should consider this proposal as it stands. We will see more houses boarded up in the coming months because of the lack of council funds,” Cllr Pa O’Driscoll told The Avondhu.