Sunday 16 June 2019

29 new social houses ready

Rathdrum and Arklow homes will be opened next week

Deborah Coleman

Twenty-nine social housing applicants are to be taken off the list from next week as they move into new accommodation which is being officially opened on Tuesday.

Seven apartments are to be unveiled at the old Arklow Library building on St Mary's Road while 22 new houses are to be opened at Brewery Bends, Rathdrum.

The houses, which are being delivered through Wicklow County Council for Arklow Municipal District, represent the first council houses to be constructed through the local authority since 2006.

It is expected that many of the tenants will be settled into their new homes before Christmas. After that, keys will be handed over once tenants complete the required induction course.

'This is great news for those who have been languishing on the social housing list for many years,' said Cllr Pat Fitzgerald.

'While I'm acutely aware that there is still a significant number of applicants awaiting housing, I am glad to see that we are moving in the right direction,' he said.

Currently, there are just over 1,000 applicants on the housing list within the Arklow Municipal District, 854 of which are seeking housing within Arklow town.

According to Cllr Fitzgerald however, not all applicants are seeking a property but are on the list as it is a Government requirement for anyone seeking housing assistance.

'While there are many people who need a home, there are others who must be on a list to receive housing assistance payments so the figure of 1,000 is not reflective of the exact number will be housed,' he said.

The new Arklow and Rathdrum units will be followed by 17 houses in Meadowvale, Arklow in February and 15 on the Vale Road, Arklow. There are also 63 more in the pipeline in Rathdrum for next year.

'While there has been a 12-year delay in building any houses, it is positive that the situation is improving finally. The last social houses built in Arklow were opened on the Harbour Road in 2006. Since then, the only houses we have been able to allocate to tenants have been purchased or acquired through private developers or landlords through rental agreements. This, combined with the recession and the lack of a town treatment plant for Arklow has delayed the whole process,' Cllr Fitzgerald said.

Wicklow People