Cllr calls for 'more imaginative approach' as only 39 social houses built in South Kerry in five years

There are 624 approved applicants currently on the county council housing list in the area which includes most of the Ring of Kerry. Half are single persons.

Cllr calls for 'more imaginative approach' as only 39 social houses built in South Kerry in five years

Only 39 social houses have been built in South Kerry in a five-year period and the construction is confined to just two towns.

There are 624 approved applicants currently on the county council housing list in the area which includes most of the Ring of Kerry. Half are single persons.

The information, released at a meeting of the Kenmare Municipal District Council in Cahersiveen, also sets out how not a single house was built in the region stretching from Kilgarvan to Kenmare, along with Sneem, Castlecove and towns of Cahersiveen and Killorglin in the years 2015, 2016, or 2017.

No social house at all has been built in Kilgarvan, the home village of two Kerry TDs and three of its county councillors — the Healy Rae family — where around 30 applicants await houses.

The town and village associated with 'the Liberator' Daniel O’Connell has had no social house — either in Cahersiveen where O’Connell was born, or in the village of Caherdaniel alongside his stately home of Derrynane.

The construction which has taken place in the past two years has been confined to, Killorglin with 17 houses in 2019, some 14 of which remain to be allocated, and Kenmare with 22 houses which were built in 2018. The tourist villages of Sneem or of Waterville have not had a single social house built.

The housing report revealed how the council is given annual targets from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government but it had yet to receive its 2020 targets.

Just 18 houses have been bought by the council and some 28 leased in the region since and including 2015. There had been no capital housing programme locally or nationally for a number of years, director of housing, Martin O’Donoghue, said.

Councillor Michael Cahill said housing in south Kerry is 'at crisis': “We need a more imaginative approach. As well as building, we need to start buying."

Almost half of the applicants – 307 – are for one-bed units. Cllr Johnny Healy Rae said the circumstances arising from marriage break up and such are not being accommodated:

Changing life circumstances are not being taken into account and over the years the need for accommodation for single males has been neglected.

In Kilgarvan, near Kenmare, family homes are needed and he urged the council to buy vacant village houses - but the process is taking too long as Departmental approval is needed and this takes nine months and more, Cllr Healy Rae said.

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