Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Kildare North Cllr Frank O’Rourke is calling on Kildare County Council to allocate land banks in its possession for the construction of social housing.
Cllr O’Rourke says such a measure would allow the local authority to work alongside private partnerships in order to increase its housing stock and provide much needed accommodation for people at risk of becoming homeless.
“We are in the midst of a serious housing crisis and the predictions are that the number of people needing accommodation will outstrip supply for the coming years. This crisis has already led to an increase in the number of people living in emergency accommodation in Kildare, and the lack of housing supply has led to a major spike in rents,” said Cllr O’Rourke.
“From meeting with people on the campaign trail it’s perfectly clear to me that housing is one of the greatest concerns for the public. People feel that not enough is being done to overcome the crisis. This is understandable when you consider the fact that there are currently 6,681 on the housing waiting list and the number is growing by the day.
“Only 11 new houses were added Kildare County Council’s housing stock between 2011 and 2014. This is down from 791 houses which were provided to people on housing waiting lists between 2007 and 2010. The Government is failing in its obligation to provide quality and affordable housing to people in need.
“Kildare County Council is finding it difficult to get to grips with the housing crisis in the face of rapidly rising demand. I firmly believe that there needs to be a co-ordinated public-private partnership effort to help boost housing supply in the county. I am calling on our local authority to allocate land banks for housing, and to bring in outside expertise in order to speed up the design and construction process. This needs to be backed up with firm financial support from Government.”