Council refutes claim that it blocked first time buyers in Athenry estate

Galway Bay fm newsroom – The county council says it takes steps to avoid competing with first time buyers when it acquires homes to use as social housing.
It comes after the local authority bought a block of 14 homes at Lorro Gate in Athenry causing outcry among existing residents.
The residents say the estate has already fulfilled the 20% social housing requirement as outlined in the planning permission.
The latest purchase of 14 more homes will bring the total social housing in the Lorro Gate estate to almost 45%.
Concerns have also been raised that first time buyers and locals have been prevented from buying homes in the estate – as they were sold as one lot.
However, the county council says it takes steps to ensure it doesn’t block first time buyers by checking with vendors before purchase to see if anyone has already made an offer.
It says the fact that the Lorro Gate homes were sold as a single lot was a decision of the vendor – and nothing to do with the local authority.
Athenry Oranmore councillor Jim Cuddy says what’s going on is unforgivable, and existing residents are now facing being thrown into negative equity.