Commitments by the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to bring forward an affordable housing scheme are welcome, but to have any real effect, the scheme must come into operation “as soon as possible”.
This is the view of Independent Galway City East councillor Declan McDonnell, who is also chair of the Housing SPC in the Galway City Council, who said that unless the availability of housing was improved within Galway city, “rents will continue to spiral”.
“Galway does not have a good track record with regards to the availability of affordable housing units and we need to be ready to apply for funding as soon as the scheme is announced,” said Cllr McDonnell.
The councillor, who is also a former mayor of the city, said he would liaise with staff in the city council to ensure the local authority was “prepared to lodge an application under this scheme” as soon as it is announced. He pointed out that Galway city needed “a good mix of social and affordable housing” and that were are a few projects coming before the council under Part 8 in the next few months.
“Unfortunately there are many families in a poverty trap, in that their income is too high to qualify for social housing, but they are not earning enough to purchase a house on the open market,” he said. “Let’s hope Minister Eoghan Murphy is committed to ensuring that affordable housing becomes readily available as soon as possible.”