Lack of land could hinder Kerry County Council’s medium to long-term house building programmes

Kerry County Council met its targets for providing social housing in 2018, but there are concerns about their ability to develop houses in the long term.

That’s according to the local authority’s CEO who said by the time their current house building programme is completed, much of their land bank will be used up.

Rebuilding Ireland gave Kerry County Council a target of 1,770 units to build, acquire or lease between 2017 and 2021; the council achieved its targets for 2018 and await notification of 2019 ones.

A number of housing schemes were completed in December and houses allocated to applicants on the approved waiting list – 22 houses at Ard Bhearna, Kenmare; 11 houses at Croílár na Mistealach, Tralee; and six at the turnkey development at Ard na Sí, Lispole.

Construction started last month on seven houses at Courthouse Lawn, Listowel, and eight at Cúirt Eaglaise, Milltown.

Approved housing bodies also began construction on 61 units in Dirreen, Killarney and 15 at Killerisk, Tralee.

The Respond Housing Association finalised the acquisition of 14 turnkey units in Ballybunion, and the council has nominated people from their housing list to occupy them.

At the end of the current Housing Capital Programme, Kerry County Council will have very little land available, and CEO Moira Murrell says this is a concern for the medium to long-term planning of housing construction programmes.

She added that given the council’s position on legacy land loans, she’s cautious in considering buying more land, but clearly the council will require some.