KILDARE County Council has overseen more social housing builds than any other local authority in the first quarter of 2018 according to a Department of Housing report.
KCC built 24 houses itself, 30 were delivered by Approved Housing Bodies and six were delivered through the Part Five clause of planning permission applications which require a specific number of housing units within a privaate development to be social housing.
These 60 social housing units delivered by the council is well in excess of other local authorities such as Offaly which delivered none, Westmeath which only delivered one social housing unit, Wicklow which delivered four, Laois and Kilkenny which delivered 11 and Carlow which delivered 19 social housing units.
The report also shows that KCC acquired 74 housing units through local authority acquisitions and Approved Housing Body Acquisitions. In contrast Carlow only acquired 12 housing units during the same period of time and Wicklow which acquired eight housing units.
Only one housing unit has been leased by KCC as compared with Carlow which leased two housing units and Wicklow which had no leases.
When local authority housing with the assistance of housing payments is taken into account KCC achieved 28% of its annual target in the first quarter of the year. This compares favourably against counties such as Carlow which is on 15%, Wicklow on 21% and Laois on 31%.
Chair of the Kildare Co Council Housing Strategic Policy committee Cllr Paddy Kennedy said while the figures in the report were positive there is a way to go before the housing crisis is solved.
“It is good, but it has to get a lot better. We still have a serious problem and what I am finding is that once you take one person or family out of homelessness there two more have become homeless. I, along with other councillors have been working hard with the Director of Housing Tadhg McDonnell to acquire houses and to identify houses that can be acquired. The figures for building are good and I would expect that next year will be even better because big builds are to happen in Newbridge, Rathangan and Kilcock and those new houses will be coming on stream. The Housing Assistance Payment scheme is great but unfortunately you can’t get homes for the scheme.
“We have been helped in Kildare by the fact that the Peter McVery Trust has facilities in the county including the Family Hub, which opened in Athy. However, we have to keep the pressure on to ensure that people who are accommodated there are there for only six months at most and are then moved onto permanent accommodation. If they aren’t then we aren’t doing our job. What I am seeing a lot more of these days is people who are working in full time jobs becoming homeless and that is disturbing to see.”