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‘Perfect storm’ causing ‘never-before-seen’ housing crisis


Anton McNulty

A ‘PERFECT storm’ of problems affecting the county all at once has resulted in a housing crisis never seen before in Mayo.
That is the view of a senior official with Mayo County Council who told councillors that there are currently only in the region of 30 properties available for rent across the whole county.
Director of Services, Tom Gilligan, was addressing councillors at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council when he admitted that the current housing crisis is something which the county has never seen before.
“At the moment we have a perfect storm in that we already have a housing crisis, we have Covid-19 and now we have the defective concrete blocks. On Daft.ie there is only in the region of 30 houses for rent in the entire county and it is a crisis which we have never seen before.
“Normally you will see in excess of 100 properties for rent and it is a problem. It is a problem for north Mayo, it is a problem for the entire county and is something we will have to address very quickly. But the reality is we can only solve some of the problems here and a lot of it will have to be tackled as a national issue,” he said.
Mr Gilligan made the comments while addressing questions on the Defective Concrete Block Scheme which is currently under review by a working group, after calls were made for a 100 percent redress scheme.
Erris-based councillor Gerry Coyle said that some people affected by pyrite were not applying for the current scheme for fear they will miss out on the 100 percent redress scheme if it becomes available.
“I am afraid that people are not coming forward because they think something else is coming out. We cannot afford to wait another minute and these people who go forward have to be given any increases which is given. These people’s houses are coming down over their head and cannot wait another minute,” he said.

Numbers down
Mr Gilligan accepted that there has been a reduction in the number of people coming forward to avail of the current scheme but he was not in a position to say whether people who have applied for the current scheme will receive the 100 percent redress scheme if it is made available.
Cllr Seán Carey said that people who have been approved for the current scheme should be retrospectively given the 100 percent redress scheme. He also called for people’s rent and storage to be paid for when their houses are being rebuilt.
Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Michael Smyth said he has written to the Minister for Housing to allow for temporary housing to be built while their homes are being rebuilt.
“I am looking for the local authorities in Mayo and Donegal to identify land banks where temporary planning permission can be granted for temporary housing in the form of modular houses which can be removed from the site again. At the moment we can see the problem that the rental property is not there and it will be a challenge to accommodate people and a plan needs to be put in place to accommodate them,” he said.

3011 MPU