NEW figures show that social housing applicants in Cork county have less than a one-in-100 chance of being successful when they bid on a vacant council house under the local authority’s online application process.
Under the Choice Based Letting (CBL) system, the average number of bids for each home offered for social housing by Cork County Council is 103, since the online system was introduced across the county in January 2017.
Countywide, the local authority has offered 492 homes to bidders since CBL was introduced, but there have been 58,006 bids on homes.
The most sought-after social housing home in the county is a property at Castletreasure Grove in Douglas which received 450 bids when it was offered through CBL.
In Ballincollig, a house in Glincool Villas was the subject of 431 bids, a situation Councillor Derry Canty (FG) has attributed to “panic” related to the housing crisis.
A house in Rockboro Heights in Carrigaline received 394 bids and another in Cul Ard, Carrigtwohill attracted 397.
Local Councillor Mary Rose Desmond (FF) said the number of bids shows that people are desperate.
Cllr Desmond added: “The people that are bidding all think they are in with a chance of getting the house. The housing crisis is affecting all spectrums of society and every area is saturated.”
Cllr Derry Canty said the demand for council properties has skyrocketed.
“If they were private houses, the prices would go through the roof,” he said.
“Cork County Council opened the door for this with Choice Based Letting (CBL). There are people on the system morning, noon and night and the Council opened it up to the entire county. If there’s a house in Ballincollig, you have people in Youghal, Mitchelstown, Bantry and other places all bidding on it. The whole county is in for it.
“There are people waiting for the houses to come online every Wednesday and they are bidding on everything.
“What’s wrong is there is a panic attack over the housing crisis,” he added.
County Hall director of housing Maurice Manning said the refusal rates of homes has declined by 26% since CBL was introduced but there are still only 74% of people registered on the housing list using the system.
“We have contacted all applicants that haven’t engaged [with CBL] and as a result of that exercise, more people have accessed the system. We continue to work with them. There are a number of applicants that won’t engage with CBL and are happy with their current accommodation.
“We will never get to a point where all our applicants are on CBL. If there are people that are having difficulty with it, we are available and can arrange assistance,” he added.