Nearly three-quarters of homes in a Clare seaside village are unoccupied.
An analysis of occupancy levels, by the newly formed West Clare Municipal District, revealed 36.4% of all houses in the district are unoccupied — with Kilkee topping the list with a rate of 71.5% of its houses unoccupied.
This compares to a national rate of unoccupied houses of 17%.
Just under 7,500 of the 20,500 houses in the West Clare area are considered to be unoccupied, almost double the number of people currently on the social housing waiting list in the county.
The information reveals a wide disparity in the occupancy levels across the new municipal district, with areas such as Kilfearagh on the Loop Head peninsula and Liscannor in the northern part of the county both recording levels of unoccupied houses in excess of 56%.
The survey followed a motion put forward by Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) who observed entire roads of unoccupied houses while canvassing during the local elections. The figures did not disclose how many of the houses are holiday homes and how many properties are permanently unoccupied.
Director of services with Clare Co Council, Ger Dollard described the 36.4% unoccupancy figure as a “frightening statistic” but said more information about the houses was needed.
Speaking at yesterday’s meeting, Cllr Keating said: “I intend to put down a motion to the council asking for them to put together a scheme which might allow us to work with the owners of these unoccupied houses and get some of the 4,500 people off housing waiting list and into homes.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved