Council to buy 30 houses in bid to tackle waiting list

Kerry County Council is buying 30 houses this year in its efforts to tackle the waiting lists for social housing. Moira Murrell/issued by Kerry County Council The council also hopes to complete work on close to 100 vacant houses. It is hoped that over 400 additional housing units will be delivered at the end of this year, as part of its social housing strategy. Chief executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell says by December, she hopes to be able to tell members they have 400 additional houses that had not been available the previous year. Ms Murrell says the council is now in a position to complete work on almost 100 vacant houses, rather than the initial target of just 53, thanks to additional funding that has been received. She added that under its Social Housing Programme, Kerry County Council will spend €62m between now and 2017 and has set itself targets in achieving this. There had been criticism from councillors on the availability of social housing in the county. Cllr Michael Gleeson of the Kerry Independent Alliance said it is bordering on the criminal that houses have been lying idle for two years. Ms Murrell said turnaround times were often beyond their control but it’s her intention to tighten up these time frames. The meeting also heard that a target of 30 house purchases had been specified for 2015. Of these, 17 are at pre-contract or contract signed stage and a further 18 were at offer or inspection stage. This week the council received an additional allocation of €205,000 for houses for the elderly.