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Frustration as Irish Water delays social housing projects

News

Ger Flanagan

THERE was frustration in the air during the Mayo County Council Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting in Castlebar last week when it was revealed that there were delays in social housing becoming available due to issues with Irish Water.
The issue came to light when Kevin Keegan, Senior Executive Architect with Mayo County Council, was updating the SPC on the status of a number of social housing projects in development in Mayo.
Mr Keegan said that the construction of a four-house project in Balla should be ready ‘in a week or two’ but that Mayo County Council were having ‘huge problems with Irish Water’.
He said that the issues were solely confined to Irish Water, and that Mayo County Council has had no issue with any other utility provider.
“There is a new regime in operation since April and it is making the process very slow with Irish Water,” he said. “This is a big issue for us and will delay further housing developments.
“The problem in Balla is that we have been asked to add infrastructure to the original estate which was not in the contract.”
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne (Ind) expressed his frustration at the scenario.
“I am amazed to hear that Irish Water are preventing people from getting into their houses,” he said. “The fact they [Irish Water] are dragging their feet is terrible and it shows how removed from reality they are.”
Tom Gilligan, Director of Services for Mayo County Council, said that the problem isn’t just confined to Mayo but is a nationwide problem.
It was revealed earlier in the meeting that a total of 1,311 people are on the housing list in Mayo currently, with a further 1,362 on the housing transfer list.