Confusion in Limerick over housing needs assessment

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housingTHERE is widespread confusion among people over the Council’s ‘Housing Needs Assessment’ project.

That’s the view of Limerick Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins who says that carrying out such a large project during the peak holiday period has added to the confusion and worry.

“There is widespread confusion among people who have received these letters from the Council. The Council will have to work with the thousands of persons they wrote to in recent weeks asking them to do this form-filling exercise or else face being thrown off the housing list,” Deputy Collins told the Limerick Post.

“Many people have returned the required information and still haven’t received an acknowledgement from the Council. Carrying out such a large exercise during the peak holiday period has added to the confusion and worry.”

Deputy Collins also says he has received assurances from the Council that the deadline for return of these forms is not set in stone.

“Furthermore I have asked the Council to increase its staffing levels in order to deal with queries on a timely basis,” he said.

The Housing Needs Assessment is currently taking place in every local authority in the country following instruction from the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

This nationwide audit will reassess applicants on the housing waiting list to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information concerning the current social housing need requirements and allow for future strategic planning.

A spokesman for Limerick City and County Council  said that they had carried out an extensive information campaign. They wrote to all applicants on the housing waiting list on July 20, 21 and 22 providing detailed instructions concerning the completion of the form, enclosing a freepost envelope to facilitate reply by the deadline date of August 12.

A further written reminder issued on Friday, August 5.

“Limerick City and County Council has advertised the Housing needs assessment in local newspapers and radio, on our website and on our social media platforms. All local elected members were consulted and advised on the Housing Needs Assessment. The Council will work with those applicants on the housing waiting list who engage with the local authority to ensure the fullest possible response to this national exercise.”

by Alan Jacques

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