Nine-year wait for social housing in West Kerry

A significant number of council housing applicants, in remote areas such as the Gaeltacht in west Kerry, have been on a waiting list for nine years or more.

Prime tourist retreats, such as Ventry and Dún Chaoin in particular, remain black spots for social housing.

At the end of June, across all districts in Kerry, the total number of applications for council homes was 3,248.

The municipal district of West and South Kerry is the largest local electoral district in the country.

A majority of the qualified 756 housing applicants in that area are seeking one or two-bedroom homes which points to many having a single lifestyle.

The district stretches across three peninsulas from Kenmare to Dingle.

Figures released by Kerry Co Council suggest many applicants in the remote west of the council have been on a waiting list for nine years, and more.

A spokeswoman for the council’s housing section said there was little available in rural parts of the south of the county.

She believed home-seekers would rather wait than amend their choice and relocate to another area.

In much of rural Kerry, single or separated men have to wait longest to secure housing.

Some 62 people have been on the list in south and west Kerry for more than nine years, while a further 129 people are waiting between seven and nine years.

The figures were released, without explanation, at a South and West Municipal District meeting in Killorglin where they were requested by Glenbeigh-Killorglin councillor Michael Cahill.

He sought the breakdown by type of house, and length of waiting time He was told there was a total of 756 applicants for social housing in the district.

It emerged 347 applicants applied for a one-bed house, 246 applicants sought two- bedroom properties and 155 applicants wanted family-type three-bedroom homes.

Eight applicants were seeking the larger family homes of four bedrooms.

Councillors expressed surprise at the length of time some people were waiting.

Just 188 were on the waiting list less than a year but 265 people were waiting between one and three years with 112 waiting between four and six years.

A council spokeswoman said: “The majority of these applicants have selected areas of choice where there is little social housing available.”

However, those waiting for homes, she said, were in “relatively secure accommodation” and many were in receipt of rent allowance.


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