Big increase in single people seeking council housing
In rural parts of Co Cork, there has been a noticeable shift in the types of housing required by people seeking to be housed by local authorities.
In recent years there has been a very significant increase in the number of single people looking for accommodation from Cork County Council.
A snapshot of this came at a meeting of the Blarney/ Mac room municipal district council when councillors received a report from their housing officer.
It showed that 320 people are looking for one-bedroomed units, while a further 385 are seeking two-bed units. By contrast, there are fewer, 314, looking for three-bed units. There are 46 applicants seeking four-bed accommodation and just three seeking five-bed homes.
Of the applicants seeking one-bed units, eight said they would need to be adapted to provide for disability/infirmity.
Three said the same with reference to two-bed units; three for three-bed units; and four for four-bed units.
Cllr Michael Creed said it “sticks out a mile” how life has changed in Ireland in recent years because so many single people are looking for one- and two-bed units. Many have separated, divorced or for one reason or have not married: “This is going to be a huge issue for the council.”
Cllr Des O’Grady agreed with him, pointing out that the local authority currently doesn’t envisage building any one-bedroomed properties.
Cllr O’Grady said he recently raised the issue of their plight at a Housing SPC (Special Purposes Committee) meeting in County Hall. He said he was informed by senior officials that those who have applied for single units will be looked at for double-bed units instead.
“I was told that 20% of the two-bed houses will be allocated to those who have applied for one-bed units,” said Cllr O’Grady
At a meeting in West Cork last year, Skibbereen-based Cllr Joe Carroll admitted that he has told some single people on the housing waiting list that they’d have a better chance of getting accommodation if they married.