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Mediator called in to deal with impasse over vacant homes in Wexford town

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The new houses on Belvedere Road in Wexford town which have been lying empty for over eight months.

The new houses on Belvedere Road in Wexford town which have been lying empty for over eight months.

The new houses on Belvedere Road in Wexford town which have been lying empty for over eight months.

wexfordpeople

A professional mediator has been appointed to assist discussions between Wexford County Council and a number of families who refused to move into newly-built houses at Airhill in Belvedere Road, which have now been lying unoccupied for over eight months.

Councillors reiterated  calls for the houses to be allocated to other families during a Wexford Borough District Council meeting, with Sinn Féin councillor Tom Forde saying members have been given very little information on this important matter.

"I had asked that it be listed as an item on the agenda today and I’m very disappointed that this couldn’t be done. It’s unacceptable that these houses have been left empty for so long. The public want answers as to why it has been going on all these months. I would like an update on it.”

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Housing officer Helen Meehan informed him that the matter had been referred to a professional mediator but the terms of reference and a meeting date were still awaited.

In reply to the Mayor, Garry Laffan, she explained that the mediation would be taking place between the Council and the people who were offered the houses.

"Has that mediation not been going on for the past eight months. These are the questions we need to know because the public are asking these questions”. he said.

Cllr Forde said he was getting his information from the families involved and he knew that they were eager to have this matter resolved and couldn’t understand why it was taking so long either.

Ms Meehan said it had been hoped to have a date for the mediation last week but it didn’t come to fruition and it was hoped to have a date soon. “It’s to mediate between the families who were offered the houses and the Council.”

Cllr George Lawlor said he was being contacted by families who are in dire need of housing and they can’t understand why these properties have been left empty.  “As of yet, we don’t know why the families refused them and what they are looking for.

"I know it is a very sensitive situation but there are too many people in need of housing to leave this festering for any longer. It has to be sorted out.”


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