Cork council aims to provide 1, 217 homes by end of 2017

Cork County Council hopes to provide 1,217 houses to people on the housing waiting list by the end of 2017.

Maurice Manning outlined plan to councillors

The ambitious plan was revealed by the local authority’s newly appointed director of housing, Maurice Manning, who told councillors the homes will be built by the local authority, or sourced from private developers.

Mr Manning gave councillors a breakdown of progress at a meeting of the Northern Division in Mallow yesterday, outlining where the biggest project will be.

Firstly, he outlined projects where the council was lined up to acquire houses which will be built by private developers. He said that, under this programme, 61 houses, which will be a mix of three and four-bed properties, will be built in Midleton and the council is currently seeking planning permission for that project.

A further 52 units, which are a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses, are expected to commence construction in Fermoy in November.

A further 34 are to be built in Ballincollig and the council has received approval in principle from the Government to go ahead with these.

Similar approval has also been given for 29 three-bed houses in Carrigtwohill and 26 homes in Passage West.

Mr Manning added that a private developer was planning 28 units at Castletreasure, Douglas, of which 12 are ready.

The senior council official then turned to projects which the council itself is building.

He said that consultants had been appointed to draw up plans for a further near €10m project to build 49 local authority houses at Kilnagleary, Carrigaline.

A design team has been appointed for a 56-home project, costing €8.7m at Beechgrove, Clonakilty and consultants have also been appointed for a seven-house development at Masseytown, Macroom, which will cost approximately €1.1m.

He said that the council was also in the process of buying a large number of single houses in many towns and villages around the county and that voluntary housing bodies were also very active in the region, planning 60 houses in the likes of Youghal, Fermoy, Rosscarbery, Buttevant and Bantry.

Mr Manning said there were currently 7,814 approved applicants for social housing in the county.

He said the largest number, 3,941, were to be found in the Southern Division, which encompasses some of the largest towns on the periphery of Cork City such as Ballincollig, Glanmire and Carrigaline.

A further 1,965 people on the waiting list are from North Cork and the remaining 1,908 live in West Cork.

Mr Manning said the council currently oversees 2,337 local authority homes, of which 93, or 3.98%, were vacant at the start of this month.

The council has often been criticised in the past for dragging its heels in doing up houses and reletting them quickly.

Mr Manning said this issue was being tackled, pointing out that, at the same time last year, the council had 253 vacant properties on its hands.

He said the council was looking for further funding to tackle the issue and was satisfied that it will “reduce the number of voids” even more in the years ahead.

Mr Manning said that, in the meantime, a programme is underway to provide energy efficient works, which involve creating better insulation and more efficient heating, at more than 1,000 council-owned properties.

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