Council is being held to ransom by housing agency — Finn

By Colm Gannon

Claremorris based Independent councillor Richard Finn this week called for action on a stand off between the Clár ICH Voluntary Housing Association and Mayo County Council.

The independent councillor said at last Monday’s meeting of Mayo County Council: “There are people who have been approved for housing by Mayo County Council and Clár ICH in Claremorris won’t let them move in. The projects cost around €5 million and that was paid for by the tax payer and it beggars belief to understand how a voluntary housing agency that got funding of between 95 per cent and 98 per cent can be looking to command a commercial rent from the tax payer in rent allowances or from Mayo County Council through the Rás scheme. This has been going on for six months and it’s nothing short of scandalous. There are five people waiting for six months now, and I know of one woman who moved out of her Rás provided accommodation five months ago and she still hasn’t been allowed to move in by Clár ICH.”

He said he was aware that Mayo County Council had been working on the issue and offered to raise rent payments, but said this was not enough. “We’re being held to ransom,” he said.

Chief executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes, told the meeting: “There is a particular issue in a particular scheme. It would be better to allow it to resolve itself, which I hope will be done in the next few weeks. If it’s not we’ll put it on the agenda for next month’s meeting.” He went on to say that there was an issue with rent levels being sought by some housing bodies in the county and it was an issue that needed to be looked at by the relevant SPC of the council.

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