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Study finds lack of rental properties in city for people on welfare

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There is a distinct lack of rental properties available in Galway city for people on rent supplement or housing assistance payments.
A study carried out over three days in November by Galway Simon Community found no rental properties within RS or HAP limits in Galway city centre.
The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment was more than twice the RS/HAP limit for a single person.
While the price for a two-bedroom apartment was 50 percent more than a single parent or couple with two children could afford.
The Galway Simon Community is asking for landlords to consider accepting tenant on HAP.
CEO of the Simon Community Bill Griffin says the support they provide for renters also benefits landlords.

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TII urged to carry-out safety audit on stretch of N84

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Tuam area councillors are calling on Transport Infrastructure Ireland to carry-out a safety audit on a key section of the N84 Headford Road.

Fianna Fail Councillor Mary Hoade put forward a motion at this week’s district meeting for the transport body to carry-out the safety assessment on the route from Ballindooley to Cloughanover.

The motion, which also called for verges to be cut back at the Balroebuck junction, was carried unanimously.

It comes as there have been several road traffic incidents along the busy routes recently, including two at the Grange junction in the past week.

Councillor Hoade argues the Grange junction is an area of particular concern to road users and local residents.

Director of Services for the Tuam MD Derek Pender told members he will have an answer from TII for the next district meeting, adding that the roads body has always been very generous in supplying funding.

Councillor Hoade argues that stacking lanes and turning lanes are needed at junctions exiting onto the N84.

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City Council approves €930,000 loan for housing charities

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Council has approved a €930,000 loan to supply local housing charities with four properties.

The proposal was brought before Councillors at this week’s Local Authority meeting and was carried unanimously.

The largest loan of almost €300,000 will go to the Peter McVerry Trust to secure a four-bed property at Túr Uisce in Doughiska. The allocation includes €33,000 for essential upgrade works.

Peter McVerry Trust will also provide a second two-bed property at Boireann Bheag in Doughiska at a cost of just under €250,000.

Galway Simon Community has secured €200,000 for a two-bed unit at Lui Na Greine on the Western Distributor Road.

Meanwhile, COPE Galway has been allocated €190,000 to purchase a one-bed apartment at Dominick Street.

The loans have been secured under the Capital Assistance Scheme.

Director of Services for Housing Dermot Mahon told this week’s City Council meeting that properties provided through the scheme are given to families who have accessed homeless services and who are on the housing waiting list.

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Galway has second lowest ‘Fair Deal’ support rate nationwide

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new survey has revealed that Galway has the second lowest nursing home “Fair Deal” support rate nationwide.

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme provides financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care.

Under the scheme, applicants make a contribution towards the cost of their care in private, public or voluntary nursing homes, while the HSE pays the balance.

However, the latest BDO Ireland and Nursing Homes Ireland Survey reveals Galway currently has the second lowest support rate in the country at €931 per bed per week.

Noting that’s €230 lower than Dublin, where the highest price is paid – BDO Ireland says Galway is not getting a “fair deal” at all.

It argues the assessment system is fundamentally flawed, and needs to shift from a county by county assessment to one that is based on actual care needs.

BDO Ireland points out that for a 65 bed nursing home, which is the average size of home in Ireland today, the difference would be almost €950 thousand a year in patient support.

It also notes that current conditions are leading to a huge rise in market share for large operators compared to owner-operators and voluntary organisations.

This, it warns, could heavily impact on choices for older people in the future, particularly in non-urban settings.

The report concludes that in many areas across Ireland, it’s not economically viable to develop new nursing homes on the Fair Deal rates granted to new facilities.

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