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Just 85 affordable homes for Galway city


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Just 85 affordable homes for Galway city Just 85 affordable homes for Galway city

A total of just 85 affordable homes will be built in Galway City during the remainder of the Government’s lifetime, it was revealed during a debate in the Seanad last week.

Galway City Council has been accused of not driving “a more ambitious agenda” when it comes to submitting applications for funding for affordable housing schemes.

An animated Senator Ollie Crowe (FF) told Seanad Éireann that there would be “riots on the streets of Galway” at the disappointing news that was imparted to him by a junior minister.

He said that Galway was crying out for affordable housing and compared this to Cork, where there were eight such schemes progressing.

In the Dáil, Junior Housing Minister, Malcolm Noonan, confirmed that it was planned to provide 85 affordable homes as part of a Merlin Woods development between now and 2025.

These will be delivered at sales prices of at least 15% below the average prices for the particular area.

He understood that there were sites identified for affordable housing schemes in other parts of the city, but no applications had been received for funding.

“Housing delivery in Galway City Council is a matter for Galway City Council and it is down to the local authority to strike the balance in respect of social and affordable housing delivery.

“If the Senator feels that the local authority is not delivering enough in that regard, it is really a matter for them to drive a more ambitious agenda. The Department will not be found wanting in funding schemes,” Minister Noonan added.

But Senator Crowe yesterday told the Galway City Tribune that it was an incredibly disappointing and unacceptable answer that there would only be 85 new builds when it came to affordable homes.

He said that both the City and County Councils needed to do far more and act with greater urgency.

“It must be made clear to the Department and Ministers that they have the same focus on affordable housing as they do on social housing, where, thankfully, there is good work happening.

“Galway is crying out for affordable housing; it is the most importance issue facing a generation of young people.

“There are eight schemes progressing in Cork right now with the houses currently being built, there are a lot of schemes in Dublin too, yet virtually nothing is happening in Galway.

“There is no shortage of funding available from Government for affordable housing schemes yet both local authorities are doing nothing to avail of this funding.

“It is completely ridiculous and the executives of both local authorities need to be held accountable for their inaction,” said Senator Crowe.

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