Sunday 24 March 2019

Request for a review of housing list

Sara Gahan

Councillors have requested for the Social Housing Priority List to be reviewed at last week's Gorey Municipal District meeting.

They feel it is very unfair to those on the list for more than five years not to have received a house yet due to priority being given to other families in need.

The councillors asked housing officer Padraig O'Gorman from Wexford County Council to review the priority list and maybe look at a new way to allocate houses to those who have been on the social housing list for quite some time. Mr O'Gorman said he will see what is involved to change the list and get back to the councillors.

'We understand priority has to be given to some cases of those in urgent need,' said Cllr Malcolm Byrne. 'But for those on the list for more than seven years and have lived in north Wexford most of their lives is not fair.'

Cllr Robbie Ireton said he knows of a tenant who has been on the list for 14 years and now the house they occupy is being sold by the landlord.

'She is afraid of where she will go when the time comes,' said Cllr Ireton. 'I accept priority has to be given to those in need but why has this person waited 14 years.'

Cllr Fionntán Ó Suilleabhain referred to the same case as Cllr Ireton, stating the person is deemed not important because the kids are leaving for college.

'She has waited so long that she is not a priority anymore,' said Cllr O Suilleabhain. 'It's ridiculous.'

Chairman Cllr John Hegarty said he understood it was not a waiting list anymore and priorities change for some, but a message he wanted to make clear was 'sleeping in cars and putting stories on social media or front page of newspapers' does not influence Wexford County Council's list.

'People are making themselves homeless to get a house which is not right,' said Cllr Mary Farrell. 'It is an ongoing problem and an issue that should be addressed.'

Cllr Ireton agreed with his fellow councillor and said putting kids in the line of fire to try and get a house is also very wrong.

'There is a lot of respectful families who play by the rules on the list and they still haven't been housed,' said Cllr Byrne. 'Why don't we look at looking after those?'

Mr O'Gorman said they allocate house to those who need it the most.

Gorey Guardian