Outrage over 'lack of housing' in major Offaly town
Edenderry Cllr Noel Cribbin has expressed "huge concern" at the lack of both private and social housing in the town of Edenderry.
"In the last 12 to 18 months I have had numerous cases of good genuine families coming to me facing homelessness, through no fault of their own, but because the owners have ether put the house up for sale or a family member is coming home from abroad and needs the house," Cribbin said.
"Nobody is doing anything wrong here and in years gone by it would only mean having to pack up your belongings and move up the road to another house," he added. Cribbin went on to suggest that "this is not the case anymore in the town."
He says the "horrifying scenario" is affecting good normal families who are paying their rent, sometimes for years in the same house." "All of a sudden they find themselves facing homelessness because of the severe lack of available houses."
He said that people are then been told that the only option is to move to Longford or Mullingar. "I have been fortunate enough to help get families housed in Edenderry in the last year but it is now a reality coming to several local families," Noel commented.
"I know of three genuine families at the moment who are under orders to vacate in the coming weeks and have tried every local auctioneer for a house. Nothing is available and they have come to me for a council house," he explained.
"As of last Friday the Council in Edenderry only have 1 house that is available and that is in Sister Senan Court and is a home for the elderly. Because of the huge shortage of rental housing in Edenderry, the cost is going through the roof and only this week a 4 bed house in the town has come on the market at €1400 per month," he continued.
"This is totally outrageous and way outside the affordability of 95% of average families," Cllr Cribbin insisted.
"Whilst the Council have the go ahead to build 33 new social houses at Blundell Wood, it seems to be taking forever to actually start the build. At a meeting last April we were informed that it was gone to tender stage, and yet here we are in mid August and still not a sign of the builders on site yet," Cribbin remarked.
"This has been going on for over two years now and for me it's totally unacceptable. The powers that be have to prioritise housing projects like this and get the builders on site," he added.
"In the last year we are also being told that the Council are working closely with an Approved Housing Agency to build 27 units at Killane Drive which is great news, but again a year later no sign of anything happening on the ground."
Cribbin went on to call on Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, to "walk the walk" and cut out these huge delays in getting a much needed planning proposal from the drawing board to getting families into homes.
The councillor expressed his surprise at the fact that no developers are in the town, considering Edenderry is just 40 minutes from Dublin. "I would urge those that have zoned land to make use of them and to build and provide good quality homes for the many families who want to live in Edenderry."
We are constantly been asked as public representatives to get "jobs into the town" but even if we got Intel to come to town, where are we going to house the staff," Cribbin queried. "Until the lack of housing is addressed I fear for jobs coming to this area."
"For me housing in both sectors social and private are a top priority and have to be addressed by the government," Cribbin concluded.
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