No house purchases for Tullamore TC

BUYING homes for tenants will no longer be an option for Tullamore Town Council as leasing is set to become the only means to deal with those waiting to be housed.

BUYING homes for tenants will no longer be an option for Tullamore Town Council as leasing is set to become the only means to deal with those waiting to be housed.

Tullamore Town councillors were advised that leasing will be the only option open to local authorities to supply housing going forward and only in exceptional circumstances will a combination of acquisitions and leasing be used where a developer has a number of properties available.

Providing an update on the housing situation, Mr Gabriel Conlon, Housing Section, acknowledged that the delivery of a new leasing scheme, put forward by the Department of the Environment, has been slow in Offaly and as a way forward the Town Council has had meetings with Offaly County Council to discuss how to progress the scheme in Offaly local authorities.

An advert is currently being prepared inviting property owners to submit details of their properties to determine suitability while Mr Conlon stressed that not “just any property will be considered” and outlined several pre-requisites to the new scheme.

According to the latest figures, 12 applications were received by Tullamore Town Council to participate in the leasing. Three applications were in Church Hill, designated unfinished estate, and six were for four bed room houses, which exceeded supply requirements.

Addressing concerns about the new scheme, Mr Conlon stressed that criteria and conditions for leasing are in constant change and should there be any future developments, he would update the members accordingly. The Council official asked the Councillors to bear with the officials regarding the lasing scheme.

Declan Kirrane, the Town Manager, explained that the housing policy is “evolving all the time”. “Leasing is going to be the only game in town. It will be advertised and we will see what interest is out there.”

He stressed that there is a strict criteria there for the scheme. “If the landlords don’t come forward or if not not significant interest, we will have to go back to the Department of Environment.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Brendan Killeavy asked what was the advice on the scheme leaving the meeting as he noted that he knew of a number of people who had sent in applications under the new leasing scheme. “What is the advice leaving this meeting. What do we say to people on this scheme.”

Ruth McNally, SEO of Tullamore Town Council, pointed out that it’s the landlords that apply to the Council if they are interested in letting to the houses. “This is a scheme of landlords,” she concluded.