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Not a single council home built in Galway in five years

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The housing waiting list has broken the 4,000 mark, yet not one council house has been built in five years.

City Hall’s current records show there are 4,041 people who applied for a council house according to a breakdown of the housing waiting list given in answer to a question submitted by Sinn Féin Councillor Mairéad Farrell.

That is after 1,900 applicants were removed overnight following an audit two years ago.

The average waiting time for a council house or flat was a minimum of eight years – for those applying for a three-bed on the eastside – right up to 12 years which was what faced those on the Westside who were holding out for a one or two-bed property.

Some 1,567 were on the list because they were unable to afford private sector rent due to being dependent on the rent supplement.

The other biggest group of people hoping for a council house were those living in unsuitable accommodation. Some 558 were sharing accommodation involuntarily while 317 had some sort of disability that rendered their current living arrangements unsuitable.

A total of 189 were classed as homeless or living in an institution or emergency accommodation such as a hostel.

In the past five years, not one house was built. 2003 was the boom time when it came to the council building its own accommodation – the local authority constructed a total of 852 units in the past 14 years, 292 of them in 2003. In 2009 the council built 83 units, marginally better than 2000 when there were 81 properties built.

In answer to another question submitted by Cllr Farrell, the council revealed there were 27 properties under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) withdrawn by the owners in 2014.

The number of properties secured for the scheme was just seven last year, while 63 had rent reviews renegotiated for the period.

The average monthly rent paid for RAS accommodation secured from the private rental market was €655 for a one-bedroom property, €715 for a two-bed, €777 for a three-bed and €886 for a four-bedroom flat or house.

The fact that no building had occurred since 2009 under the reign of the present Coalition was a shocking endictment on Government’s housing strategy, insisted Cllr Farrell.

“We’re in a real crisis situation, particularly in Galway City. Clearly the fact we’re not building houses we’re becoming more reliant on the private sector but the figures show we have 20 less for last year – that’s another 20 families forced into the private market,” she stated.

“I know some of the people who have contacted me are told to move in with family, but we can see there are 558 already involuntarily sharing, some of them must be in a awful situation – it’s just not viable for some people to do that.

“The only thing that’s going to alleviate this crisis is to build housing. It’s the biggest issue for my constituents. There is a real sense of no hope – and you can see why when you get figures showing not one house has been built in five years.”

A Housing Need Assessment (HNA) exactly two years ago saw 1,900 applicants for social housing struck off the list, bringing those deemed to have a housing need to 3,100. Before the compulsory audit, Galway City Council’s housing waiting list stood at just over 5,000 – the highest ever in the history of the city’s housing waiting lists.

The vast majority of the 1,900 applicants removed were people who did not respond to the HNA letters and did not return the forms correctly. Some of the applicants are thought to have emigrated, others could have died.

Connacht Tribune

Supply chain challenges in retail

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SPONSORED CONTENT  – EZ LIVING FURNITURE

There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.

Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes us –  EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.

Supply Chain explained

March 2020:

Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.

April 2020:

When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.

June 2020:

Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.

November 2020:

Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.

This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.

Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.

Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.

March 2021:

The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

October 2021:

We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.

What are we doing to resolve this?

Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.

Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.

What you need to know

Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.

Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.

So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.

  • The EZ Living Octoberfest Promotion – October 2021.
  • The EZ Living Furniture Black Friday Sale – November 2021.

Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:

Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Phone: 0818 222 272

Customer Service Email: customerservice@ezliving.ie

Website Enquiries Email: websales@ezlivingfurniture.ie

SPONSORED CONTENT  – EZ LIVING FURNITURE

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Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day

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Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Greens see red on gold rush

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Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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