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Half of Council housing offers refused in 2017

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Cllr Gino O’Boyle asked about housing offers refused in 2017.

Cllr Gino O’Boyle asked about housing offers refused in 2017.

Cllr Gino O’Boyle asked about housing offers refused in 2017.

Almost a quarter of the number of people waiting on the Sligo County Council Housing list turned down offers of houses last year.

Councillor Gino O'Boyle asked at yesterday's meeting of Sligo Municipal District how many housing offers were refused in 2017 by housing applicants.

He was told by Housing Official Joe Murphy that there were 303 offers of accommodation made last year.

Of these, 152 were accepted and 151 were refused. There were also 54 properties offered two or more times during 2017.

Cllr O'Boyle asked what reasons were given for the refusals.

"It could be any number of reasons. To me, it does seem high, 50 per cent refusing them," said Mr Murphy to members.

Councillor Declan Bree said he would be "concerned" by the high numbers of refusals.

"I don't recollect that level of refusals in the past," he said. Cllr Bree told the meeting that some people were still being offered houses by the Council in areas that they had specifically said they didn't want to live in. "That doesn't make sense, to offer a house when you know it's going to be refused," he said.

Cllr Chris MacManus said the figures could send out different messages. He pointed to the fact that a person is taken off the housing list for 12 months if they refuse a house twice.

"It's a smaller number of houses being declined multiple times," he said.

Mr Murphy

confirmed that people get two offers of housing and if they refuse the second offer, they are taken off the housing waiting list for 12 months.

"54 houses were offered at least twice," he said, adding that "the reality is that when you have six or seven hundred people on the list and 151 turn down houses, that's a quarter of the entire housing list."

Sligo Champion