Mayo County Council has seen more than two tenancies surrendered on council houses each week so far this year. Senior executive officer for Mayo County Council, Paul Benson, outlined the numbers to the elected members at their monthly meeting this week.
He stated that at the start of the year there were 140 vacant council houses and that number has come down to 113 at present, but the council has been handed back 113 tenancies by people so far this year and 133 new tenancies have been created this year.
Breaking down the numbers of current vacancies, he explained that there were 96 houses in estates and 17 in rural areas. Of the estate houses vacant, the council has offered tenancies on 12, with another 11 ready for letting, with 33 under repair, and another 33 at survey stage.
Moving on to the numbers on the housing list in the county, he said that the vast majority of those on the list did not have any interest in a local authority house, saying: "There are 3,121 people on the housing waiting list, we do not intend on housing all of those. The vast majority of them have no interest on a house from the local authority. They are on it to access rent supplement, or now the housing assistance payment. The reality is there are very few people without houses who want them in the county. We believe the real figure is 500 or 600 who need a house, the rest are in private rented and are on it to access that supplement and are not really interested in accessing a council house.