Some progress is being made in finding homes for some of the 400 people in Portarlington on Laois County Council's housing waiting list but it could be some time before houses are built.
Laois County Council confirmed last week that it has identified two stretches of land in Portarlington and Stradbally, for new houses.
“The council owns land in Stradbally, Ballymorris and Bracklone St in Portarlington,” said Gerry Murphy, Director of Services for Housing.
“A schematic layout and brief is being prepared for submission to the Department of the Environment in respect of lands in Stradbally. A design for houses in Ballymorris is being prepared whilst the design for Bracklone St will commence in quarter 2,” Mr Murphy informed the Portarlington Graiguecullen muncipal district.
The information was given in reply to a motion from Cllr Aidan Mullins who said that three times this week he had spoken to three people who were homeless or at risk of losing their home. He said the people were given the option of B&B in Laois or hostels in Mullingar or Longford.
He welcomed the news that sites had been identified and asked for details on timing and numbers.
Mr Murphy was unable to give details on how many houses would be provided or when construction would begin although it could be into 2017 before work could start.
Cllr Mullins claimed that just two new houses had been purchased in Port for council housing applicants which would make no impact on the 400 people waiting in Portarlington.
Cllr Mullins also asked if the council had made enquires about the availability of an apartment block in Bracklone Court which was for sale.
Mr Murphy confirmed that a voluntary housing agency, which houses waiting list applicants, was looking a the building with a view to purchase.
Cllr Mullins also claimed that he had been contacted by an individual who asked him to see if the council would purchase or lease the Waterfront apartment block.
Mr Murphy said he would have to get back to the council on that.
Cllr Paschal McEvoy welcomed the announcement for Stradbally.
Cllr Tom Mulhall also welcomed the news of housing on the way. He said that there are people on the housing waiting list for years. He said there was also potential for a new owner of apartments in Corrig Glen which had never been correctly finished.