Galway city and county is set to get 125 new affordable homes, following Government funding of €5.8 million. The funding will see 95 of the houses built at Merlin Park, and the remaining 30 at Raheen, Athenry.
The funding, which was approved by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy, is part of the second round of the Service Sites Fund, the aim of which is to deliver affordable homes across the State. It is also part of a total €6.5 million investment in the two projects. A total of €1.33 million will go towards the homes in Athenry, while €4.48 million will provide for the homes at Merlin Park.
The funding has been approved by Seán Kyne, the Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht, and the Islands. "The Serviced Sites Fund is putting local authority land to great use for the provision of new affordable homes at strategic locations," he said. “Providing new homes is dependent on key infrastructure being in place which is why the Government’s Serviced Sites Fund is a crucial support."
‘Not far enough’
However there was criticism from Fianna Fáil Galway East TD, Anne Rabbitte, who said that, while the new homes were very welcome, it still "did not go far enough". She said: "Other towns across East Galway are being ignored. What about the likes of Tuam, Gort, Loughrea, Portumna and so on?"
She is calling on the Galway County Council to prioritise the availability of affordable housing over the next five years. "A lack of affordable housing in Galway is limiting the opportunities for young people to purchase their own home," she said. "The Government needs to provide councils with additional resources from a design and administration perspective so they can bolster their applications to the Department of Housing."