THE online application process for a new affordable housing scheme in Cork has been delayed by a week due to high demand.
Cork City Council confirmed that the application portal for the Newton Heights affordable housing development on Boherboy Rd has been delayed by one week due to “significant interest” in the scheme.
A council spokesperson said the “go live” date for the Lotamore scheme would now be deferred until Tuesday, August 23.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould described Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien’s affordable housing targets for Cork as “too little, too late”, and claimed it might be easier to win the lottery than to purchase an affordable home in Cork City.
“The reality is that this scheme is already oversubscribed before it’s even launched,” Mr Gould said.
“We’ve been warning the minister for months that these targets are too low but these calls have fallen on deaf ears.
“There are people today who have spent the last month gathering documents, who are able to purchase and are ready to purchase an affordable home, but this is just another blow to them,” he said.
“There are people filled with false hope now, who have listened to the minister’s empty promises, who will not be able to purchase one of these homes because the targets are so low.”
Mr Gould said it was heart-breaking for many families who were paying extortionate rents or living in overcrowded family homes.
“Unless we see ambitious targets to deliver widespread, sufficient affordable housing supply in the coming years, there is no avenue left for many of these people,” Mr Gould said.
“Sinn Féin’s fully costed, credible, and deliverable affordable housing plan would give these people real hope and real prospects at home ownership.”
A spokesperson for Cork City Council said Newton Heights would be the first affordable scheme advertised by the Council for applications by interested parties, “with a total of 117 affordable dwellings and 37 social dwellings, equating to an overall total of 154 dwellings available within the Newton Heights scheme”.
The spokesperson said there had been significant interest in the affordable scheme, with in excess of 4,000 visits recorded to the newtonheights.ie website since details of the scheme were published on July 16.
A spokesperson for the Department of Housing said that, under the Affordable Housing Act 2021, each local authority assessed the level of demand for affordable housing in its area and planned provision accordingly.
“Under Cork City Council’s Housing Delivery Action Plan, 5,671 social and affordable homes will be delivered across the city over the next five years,” the spokesperson said.