Councillor “worn out” from housing issue

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Committee Chairman Cllr Jerome Scanlan. Photo: Keith Wiseman

“THERE is no sense of urgency” to deal with the housing issue in Newcastle West, according to Fine Gael councillor Jerome Scanlan.

Speaking at Wednesday’s district meeting of Limerick City and County Council, he said there was a lack of connectivity when it comes to finding homes for families.

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“Before 9.40 this morning I had four calls regarding housing. We are putting people in places we shouldn’t be putting them if those dealing with it had the local knowledge. One lady is living in a place, a country girl, in a house she doesn’t want to be in and she wants to leave.

“I am worn out from housing,” he said.

“We are losing revenue and every day people are onto me looking for houses. There are two houses in Assumpta Park with no one living in them. They are just left sitting there. I’d personally live in either of them, they are impeccable. There’s no sense of urgency to tackle this issue in Newcastle West.”

Fianna Fail councillor Francis Foley said he was also getting calls on a daily basis from people desperate for a place to live.

“People feel I am stringing them along because I can give them no definite answers. We need to get things moving further and faster. I have old people onto me who are sick from living in damp places. They need to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Cllr Foley commented.

Cllr Michael Collins (FF) took the view that the whole social housing system has to be changed nationally.

“Not all blame goes to the local authority. We need to know where the problem is,” he said.

Director of Operations for Newcastle West, Gordon Daly told council members that there is a “willingness and openness” on Limerick City and County Council’s part to tackle the issues. He suggested that a workshop be organised with the Housing Department “straight away” to address the problems.