'You can forget about housing Dubs in Kerry Minister'

Dónal Nolan

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy can forget about resettling Dublin families in Kerry as the rate at which the county's housing list is being tackled in terms of new buildings is 'as slow as the snail to Jerusalem', Danny Healy Rae said last week.

The Independent TD's remarks came in a second-stage debate on the 35th Amendment of the Constitution (Right to Housing) Bill 2017 and in response to a statement by the Housing Minister as to his intent to relocate Dublin families in dire need of home to rural locations.

Deputy Healy Rae made clear his remarks had nothing to do with prejudice towards Dubliners, but with the snail's pace of getting new housing stock ready in Kerry for the county's own needy families. "His [the Minister's] statement said that he was going to take people out of urban areas and take them out to rural areas to house them. I want him to tell me how many vacant houses or how many houses are ready for habitation in County Kerry which I represent.

"We do not have houses for the people we have on our own housing lists. Forget about taking people out of Dublin and bringing them down to Kerry because we do not have houses ready for habitation there yet. There are vacant houses but they are a long way from getting them ready or making them fit to put people into them. The Minister must acknowledge that. The pace at which we are going at these houses is as slow as it took the snail to get to Jerusalem," Deputy Healy Rae said.

He cited the first significant social housing development in Killarney seen in eight years - a 20-home estate that's currently under construction - saying it was 'very wrong' that the Government had stymied it by seeking the Council to lower the cost of the 20 houses at one point. He also called for a reduction in the rate of VAT and levies on private houses in order to try and kickstart the private sector into building. "Until it does that, no houses will be built," he said.

Kerryman

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