‘No hope in hell’ for singles on housing list

Single people on the waiting list in West Cork have, effectively, not a “hope in hell” of being accommodated by the local authority — but they could “bond” with like-minded people or even get married to boost their chances.

Cllr Joe Carroll, chairman of West Cork Municipal District Council, said he recently had to advise a single man that as Cork Co Council did not build one-bed units anymore, “he’d have a better chance if he got married”.

His disclosure came as the district council heard half the applicants on the coastal region’s housing waiting list were seeking one-bed units.

A demand for single units had skyrocketed, councillors were told, with 1,048 single person applicants among the 2,210 waiting list total. It emerged 845 applicants had requested two-bed units, 260 three-bed, and 57 four-bed.

Council officials said they recognise the problem and one likely resolution was, maybe, putting several “like-minded” singles into the same house.

Cllr Pat Murphy agreed with Cllr Carroll’s suggestion but noted it would, therefore, be known as “a marriage of convenience”.

Cllr Paul Hayes described the figures for single person applicants as dreadful. Having recently spoken to a crying 68-year-old single woman, he accepted she “hadn’t a hope of being housed anytime soon”.

“Single people are not being catered for in the housing programme,” said Cllr John O’Sullivan, stating the concerns should be relayed to the council’s housing department who appear to be ignoring single applicants. “They’re being abandoned,” he said.

Cllr Pat Murphy said: “We need to mirror our housing developments with the demand that’s out there.”

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