259 homeless families recorded across DLR

by Gazette Reporter
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THE number of families in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown presenting as homeless is now 259, a recent progress report on housing revealed at a council meeting.
The report, given by director of housing Tom McHugh, also found that at the end of August, 4,776 people were on the housing list – a leap of 140 people since June 30.
McHugh said the current provision in the capital budget for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council allows for 19 additional social housing units, which are either at tender stage or approaching construction.
He went on to say: “We have another 50 [units] that we hope to proceed to Part 8 [public consultation] planning approval stage, and there hasn’t been any funding approved for those [yet].”
Sites listed by the housing department as potential for housing in the future include Broadford, Lamb’s Cross, Rathmichael, Shanganah, Fitzgerald Park, Blackglen, Rosemount and Glenamuck Road, although McHugh outlined that some of these had infrastructural difficulties to be overcome.
McHugh said: “In the housing support services section of the report, 259 households have presented in the half year to the end of June as homeless.
“This is an area that we prioritise in relation to trying to offer advice, support and some kind of assistance to those families.
“Part of that service would be the placing of persons finding themselves in homeless circumstances in both temporary and supported emergency accommodation, and engaging with some of our colleagues in the voluntary sector for tenancy sustainment packages to help people to sustain [their] tenancies.”
An Cathaoirleach Marie Baker (FG) said she met with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny recently, when she told him: “This council has a number of shovel-ready projects we would love to get financing for. So, he asked me to send on details and I’ve sent them on, so hopefully we’ll get some good news in the future.”
Meanwhile, it was also revealed this week that more than €3.12m is owed to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in unpaid rent.
The council currently has 4,450 residential properties, with 5,000 tenants – a third of whom are now in rent arrears. Approximately 1,900 tenants in the council housing are not meeting their rent repayments.
Some 400 tenants (families and individuals) are currently in rental accommodation in the county, whereby rent is paid directly to a private landlord while tenants pay an outstanding balance to the council.
Of these tenants availing of the rental accommodation scheme, 190 have fallen behind in their rents.
Of the total 2,090 tenants both in council housing and in the rental scheme in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, 1,260 have been in rent arrears for 12 weeks or more.
The 2,090 tenants now currently in rent arrears to the council have resulted in a total debt of more than €3.12m.
It was also revealed this week that the council is now set to build 53 homes next year to deal with the housing shortage, with these units due to be built between December 2015 and June 2016.

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