Housing needs in our community?

07/12/2009

At a recent area committee meeting held in Baldoyle, Howth/Malahide Councillors were informed that of seven two bedroom units, located less than five minutes from Baldoyle village and fewer still from the local DART station, five remain unsold.

Fingal County Council’s social & affordable housing lists have shortened in recent times primarily because units built and handed over to the local authority are no longer priced competitively in comparison to the private housing stock available in any given area.

This disparity makes a mockery of the governments policies on housing and shows up their abject failure to provided sufficient funding to local authorities for the construction of social and affordable units.

So, why are council owned houses not selling? Primarily, it comes down to choice and availability of houses. While the council offer homes to those on our list for as little at €150,000 similar privately built units are now priced in a similar region and with clawbacks in place for those who sell on council allocated affordable homes, there is no incentive for would be purchasers.

The solution is of course to reduce the price of council allocated homes and for the Government to step in and compensate the local authority so that it does not adversely effect our annual operating budget. In these turbulent times however, the concept of the Department of the Environment coming up with a suggestion or policy which requires logic or would benefit the citizens of our nation without first being “cost neutral” is a flight of fancy.