Council denounced housing ‘failure’ – news

Local representatives delivered a scathing assessment of Mayo County Council’s housing delivery record at last week’s monthly meeting, describing it as an “appalling failure”.

Councilors made their comments after receiving the local authority’s Housing Completion Report. The council’s management said that since 2019, the local government has built 291 social houses and delivered a further 69, bringing the total to 360. The municipality has set itself the target of delivering 1,000 social homes by 2027 and has set the following targets: 2024 (157 homes). ), 2025 (190), 2026 (234) and 2027 (242). Under the government’s Housing for All programme, the council is required to deliver at least 730 homes by the end of 2026.

However, Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly said planning clinics have been set up to help people with queries, but these clinics are “not working”.

“It was mentioned in the land tax report, but we should not prioritize it. The priority for us should be to build houses, end of story,” he added.

Cllr Munnelly also insisted the council should “roll out the red carpet” for anyone wanting to build a housing development, but “that’s not happening”.

Westport-based Cllr Peter Flynn gave a scathing assessment of the local authority’s housing situation, describing it as an “appalling failure”.

“Housing delivery is the headline of the report, but it should really be ‘Housing failure’,” he said. “If you look at the last five years, our population in Mayo has increased by about 10,000 people.”

The Fine Gael representative said that in the days of councils, a single council could deliver the 291 houses built by Mayo County Council since 2019. He also criticized the amount of residential land purchased by the municipality, the number of local government loans issued (60 as of 2020) and the number of properties acquired through a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Fianna Fáil Cllr Damien Ryan said he had an issue with the turnaround in vacant housing stock and asked for figures from each borough.

Director of Services for Housing Tom Gilligan rejected councillors’ comments, saying the council was “not doing too badly” with housing in 2023 compared to other local authorities. He estimated that another 20 home loans would be approved by the end of 2024.

The local government received a total of 1,264 building applications last year; 72% were approved and 5% were rejected, with the rest awaiting a final decision.