KILMEAGUE has the highest percentage of social housing per head of population in the county, with social housing making up almost a quarter of housing units in the area. Allenwood at 0.3% has the least.
County councillors were given a breakdown of the percentage of social housing per head of population at their December meeting. After receiving the figures councillors called for a more even distribution around the county.
They were told by director of services for housing Tadhg McDonnell that his personnel belief, in the middle of a housing crisis, is that they should be building “anywhere and everywhere and using every delivery source” they can.
According to the figures Athy has15.6% social housing, Monasterevin has 11.4%, Castledermot 14.3%, Naas 7.4%, Newbridge 9.8% , Rathangan 14% and Kildangan 8%.
Cllr Mark Lynch requested the information at the meeting in a bid, he said, to rectify the oversaturation of housing in certain areas.
He asked that officials concentrate future local authority house building in areas with a lower level of local authority housing than the county average.
The information was gathered from the Kildare Census 2016 Profile Housing, the members were told, which explores the housing profile of the county, including social housing.
The report also found that 7.1% of the housing tenure in the county is social rented (i.e. local authority/voluntary body), which is lower than the average for the state at 9.4%.
Cllr Mark Stafford noted that although it might not be economical to build in a certain area the difference between Allenwood (0.3%) and Kilmeague (23.8%) is remarkable.
“They are areas of equal size. It is not acceptable,” he said.
He asked that the report be a factor in deciding where houses are built to ensure a balance of 10-15% in each area.
“It shouldn’t be the primary focus but it should be a key element,” he said.
Mr McDonnell reminded people that the CSO information related to where people were living on the night in question and that there policy allows for applicants to have three location preferences.
“To say we won’t build in places with a higher percentage means people living in those towns will not get their perference,” he said.
Cllr Thomas Redmond said he wouldn’t endorse stopping building in a particular area and Cllr Lynch said he is concerned it would lead to a concentration of social housing in one particular area.
“The housing department is working hard, together with approved housing bodies, to meet the government’s targets for social housing delivery in the county, particularly in the areas of high demand, whilst complying with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government guidelines on Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities,” said Mr McDonnell.
“The social housing list will determine the areas with highest demand, as every housing applicant, when applying for social housing, can identify up to three areas of preference where they wish to be considered for housing.”