Big in­crease in sin­gle peo­ple seek­ing coun­cil hous­ing

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Sean O’Rior­dan

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.

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