A HOUSING scheme announced by the Government this week has been described as a “joke” by a city councillor.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said 1,770 affordable homes will be built in 25 projects under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF), costing €84m in the second tranche of funding for the scheme. Six of the projects will be in Cork county but none has been announced for the city.
The Department of Housing is pumping 89% of construction costs into 99 houses in two Midleton projects, 50 houses in Kinsale, 17 in Clonakilty, 50 in Mallow, and 38 in Carrigaline, amounting to almost €14m.
The first tranche of funding last year had included city projects at Boherboy Rd and Kilmore Rd.
Councillor Thomas Gould (SF) has criticised the number of houses being built — the largest project contains just 50 homes — and queried why Cork city has not been included when over 5,500 people are on the housing list. He said projects containing hundreds of houses at a time is the only way to address the shortages.
“It shows the disarray the Government’s housing policy is in. They have so many different strands [of housing schemes] but no overall strategy that links everything. There is no coordination between all these proposals,” said Mr Gould. “For Cork city not to be included in this is unbelievable when you look at the housing crisis. Could they not find one site?
“On paper, this looks good, it’s a lovely announcement and great PR for the Government but there is no policy for affordable homes.
“We’ve been waiting to hear what the criteria are for these affordable homes and now they are announcing this and nobody knows who will qualify or be able to apply for them.
“When will they be built? There are 244 homes announced in Cork but this announcement is a joke for Cork because there are none in the city in the middle of the worst housing crisis on record,” said Mr Gould.
“The biggest development in this is 50 homes but there are over 10,000 people on the housing list in the whole of Cork.”