Hundreds of people could miss out on securing local authority accommodation if they do not fill out a form sent to them by the Galway City Council and return it within the next two weeks.
Independent city councillor Terry O’Flaherty issued the warning after it was revealed this week that almost 40 per cent of applicants on the waiting list for housing had failed to return the form by the April 12 deadline.
Now, the city council has given them a further chance to return the housing needs assessment forms by May 3 — warning that failure to do so will see them removed from the waiting list entirely.
“This is a really serious situation for families and individuals and it is absolutely vital that they fill out these forms,” said Cllr O’Flaherty.
“Not only will they be removed from the housing list if they do not return the form, but if they reapply at a later date, they will not get any credit for the time they have spent on the waiting list and will be treated as a new housing applicant.
“Too often over the years I have seen applicants taken off the housing list due to not returning the forms in time, then losing out on the time that they have been on the list, which can be very upsetting for families and individuals who may have been years waiting in hope.”
The housing needs assessment forms were sent out by the council to all 1,923 applicants including families and individuals who have been on the housing waiting list for a more than a year.
But only 1,167 applications were received back by the council by the April 12 closing date for return of documentation.
“That means that a total of 756 applicants for housing - which represents hundreds of people, as a family seeking a home is regarded as one application - are in danger of losing out on their place on the housing list if they do not act quickly.
“Thankfully the council has extended the deadline to May 3, which is only two weeks away, and I would urge everybody on the waiting list to fill out the form today, do not wait until the final moment.”
The Independent councillor for Galway City East also advised people to seek a receipt for the returned form, so they have proof of having submitted it.
The Galway City Council will be sending a reminder letter to all outstanding applicants next week and this week issued a public notice notifying people of the extended deadline and the consequences of failing to return the form.