Frus­tra­tion as start yet to be made on hous­ing

Bray People - - NEWS -

MEM­BERS of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District have ex­pressed out­rage at the ‘drag­ging out’ of the ap­proval process for houses at Mur­phy’s land, Kil­bride Lane.

‘We thought build­ing would be hap­pen­ing on this land at the mo­ment,’ said Cllr Joe Be­han. ‘I’m get­ting in­for­ma­tion that the Depart­ment of Hous­ing are drag­ging out the ap­proval process,’ he said. ‘ The Min­is­ter for hous­ing ev­ery day says how much he is do­ing. The re­al­ity is that the depart­ment is hold­ing this project up. I am very con­cerned about that. I am con­cerned that the start­ing date is go­ing to slip again. WE should seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion from Wick­low county Coun­cil and the Depart­ment of Hous­ing as to when we can con­fi­dently ex­pect work to be­g­ing.’

Cllr Be­han said that he is wor­ried that there will be fur­ther de­lays. ‘Peo­ple are de­pend­ing on it to be­gin,’ he said. ‘ There are many home­less peo­ple and over 1,000 on the hous­ing list. THis is the only scheme in the area and the depart­ment doesn’t even look like it’s get­ting to a start­ing point.’

He sug­gested writ­ing to the min­is­ter on the is­sue.

Cllr Pat Vance said that the lo­cal au­thor­ity has built three houses in six years. ‘I re­mem­ber high­light­ing this in 2011,’ he said. ‘It’s a tragedy that 3,000 kids are sleep­ing in ho­tel rooms at night.’

He said that there is a hous­ing emer­gency yet the author­i­ties are still sub­ject to the same plan­ning laws. ‘It’s tak­ing years to build any­thing. 42 houses won’t even make a blip on the list we have.’

Cllr Michael O’Con­nor agreed with both of them and said it’s tak­ing an in­or­di­nate amount of time. ‘We should be writ­ing to the min­is­ter,’ he said. ‘It is a drop in the ocean, but 42 fam­i­lies will ac­tu­ally have some­where de­cent to live.

‘ There are more stages in­volved here than the bloody Tour de France,’ said Cllr O’Con- nor. ‘Mean­while, no­body is pack­ing their bags to move in. THe min­is­ter needs to get his act to­gether.’

Cllr Steven Matthews said that there are 180,000 va­cant premises in the coun­try. ‘If we were to even ad­dress a quar­ter of that we would halve our hous­ing list,’ he said.

Cllr Christo­pher Fox said that the scheme is in the depart­ment’s con­trol and it should be pro­cessed quickly. He said he spoke to an of­fi­cial dur­ing the week ex­press­ing the same con­cerns as Joe Be­han.

The chief ex­ec­u­tives had met with the min­is­ter. One thing Joe Lane from Wick­low County Coun­cil said to the min­is­ter was that it was too slow, with too many stages and too many hoops to jump through. ‘We need to de­liver so­cial hous­ing more speed­ily,’ said Cllr Fox.

Ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Tri­ona Irv­ing said that it is frus­trat­ing that peo­ple are on the list for 12 or 13 or even 14 years. ‘We will cer­tainly write to the min­is­ter,’ she said.

Ms Irv­ing said that the in­for­ma­tion seems to change, with one step for­ward and an­other step back.

42 so­cial hous­ing units are planned for the site, with a cost of €14.7 mil­lion.

Cllr Joe Be­han.

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