Special Council Meeting On Housing Crisis To Be Held

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Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Tipperary Town. Image © Tipp Mid West Radio

The housing crisis in the county led to some heated scenes at the June Plenary meeting of Tipperary County Council.

The councillors have now decided to hold a special meeting on the housing crisis.

In advance of that meeting, the new chair of the Housing Strategic Policy  Committee (SPC) Cllr Kieran Bourke from Carrick on Suir, will hold a meeting of the SPC and also take input from Councillors and the Director of Services for Housing.

It is intended that this will lead to a constructive action orientated meeting in July when an updated report on the housing and homelessness situation will be presented by council officials.

Councillors heard that there are a number of families with no accommodation following a change of policy by Tipperary County Council in respect of using a hotel in Clonmel for Emergency accommodation.

The CEO Joe McGrath cautioned that a discussion by councillors would not be likely to bring forward any solutions as he considered it a national issue. Mr McGrath assured councillors that that Tipperary County Council exceeds the housing delivery targets given to it by the Department of Housing.

These targets are set by the Department excluding anyone presently receiving some form of support meaning that those on HAP or RAS support or the hidden homeless are not counted when the target is set.

Mr MacGrath also took exception to comments made by Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan who questioned the policy regarding voids – social houses currently unoccupied – Ms Hanna said huge sums of money was being wasted and delays caused by works to homes that could be used as they are.

Ms Hanna said people living in overcrowded conditions or sleeping in cars or couches would gladly take homes that need some repairs.

The latest data from Tipperary County Council May management report reveals that there are 3,506 people on the approved housing list waiting for homes.

The council has 127  vacant houses and 24 voids had repairs completed during the first quarter of 2022.

In addition the council has a number of  projects in train to secure new builds during the year. The council is currently providing a Housing Assistance Payment to  1,785 people.