• A contractor has been appointed for the Tonragee Scheme in Achill for five new houses.

    This news has been welcomed by local Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McNamara who says more council housing sites should be looked at rural areas like Achill.

    Cllr. McNamara says there is currently 40 people on the housing list in Achill and this number should be tackled.

  • Councillors in Claremorris Municipal District have instructed council management to write to the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and tell him that they want his recent circular to elected members on the discussion of single planning applications at council meetings rescinded.

    In his letter the Minister says it is not acceptable that single planning applications are discussed by councillors at municipal or county council level.

    The practice in Mayo, has been to date, that single planning applications that look set for refusal are discussed by councillors at municipal district meetings.

    The Minister of State at the Department of Housing and Planning John Paul Phelan told a meeting of Mayo County Councillors earlier this week that they are breaking the law by discussing these individual single planning applications.

    Ballinrobe based Fianna Fail Councillor Damien Ryan says for twenty years it has been the practice in Mayo to discuss planning applications that look set for refusal, and he believes there is nothing wrong with the practice.

  • Housing activists are set to take to the streets nationwide today with demonstrations planned to highlight the ongoing housing crisis.

    Around 20 separate events are scheduled to take place with the biggest to be held at Dublin's Garden Of Remembrance from 1pm.

    The demonstrations come as the number of people in emergency accommodation lies just below 10,000.

  • The lack of available land on which to build social housing is a problem across Co Mayo.

    That’s according to Ballina Councillor Gerry Ginty, Chairperson of Mayo County Council’s Strategic Housing Committee.

    He claims that much of the land designated for housing is owned by private developers.

    Councillor Ginty is also concerned about the number of objections to social housing developments, and says many of the objectors may not realise that members of their own families may need social housing in the coming years.

    Councillor Ginty raised the matter at a recent meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, where there are over 500 people on the housing list at present.

    He again raised the issue of the colour scheme on a new social housing development at Marian Crescent in Ballina, where he says the colours used make the houses stand out “like a sore thumb”.

    Councillor Ginty believes social housing developments should blend in well with neighbouring properties, and this may lead to fewer objections.

  • A Mayo TD is calling on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to give a start date for the compensation scheme for those whose homes are affected by pyrite.

    €20 million was set aside in last year's Budget for a Mica and pyrite redress scheme, but it has not yet opened for applications.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says there was much fanfare when the compensation scheme was announced, but 12 months later, it has not been delivered.

    With just days to go to next Budget, Deputy Chambers told Midwest Radio News that the Minister must announce a start date for this scheme immediately.

  • Members of the People Before Profit Party in Sligo protested outside the gates of IT Sligo on Friday ahead of the special Cabinet meeting to rubberstamp the Ireland 2040 plan.

    The group were there to protest for a number of reasons. Local Cllr Gino O’Boyle was there to highlight the lack of social and affordable housing in Sligo. There are 1,100 people on the waiting list, with only 65-85 houses available.

    While Nigel Gallagher from the party was there as part of the Still Waiting campaign, which is calling for a one-tier health system.

  • Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is making a case to Minister Donohue for the inclusion of funding for a pyrite remediation scheme in Budget 2019.

    That was confirmed to Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin.

    Senator Mulherin had a meeting with Minister Murphy last Friday, during which she asked him to allocate funding in the forthcoming Budget to establish a Pyrite Remediation Scheme to provide financial assistance for affected homeowners in Mayo.

    She said that she is pleased to confirm that the Minister is very sympathetic to the plight of homeowners and is making a case to Minister Paschal Donohue for it to be included in Budget 2019.

  • People Before Profit Mayo will hold a public meeting in Ballina this evening to discuss housing and homelessness.

    The meeting gets underway at 8pm in the Station House Hotel, Ballina.

    Guest speakers include Ballina-based Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty and Garie Beattie of the Mayo Land League.

    People Before Profit believe there needs to be a major progamme of council house-building to deal with the homelessness crisis, rather than the policy of subsidising private landlords.

  • A proposal to build up to 1,000 new homes in Galway has been announced by the Land Development Agency (LDA) and Galway City Council.

    The LDA is a State agency set up to develop land in public ownership, with a particular emphasis on providing additional housing.

    It has announced plans to carry out a feasibility study into the possible development of a 20-acre site at Sandy Road, a short distance from Galway city centre.

    The first stage of the process will be completed by the end of March, when a review of the site's potential will be completed.

    Galway's population is set to grow by 50% by 2040. There is a huge shortage of rental accommodation in the city and traffic gridlock is a routine part of life for thousands of people living and working in the area.

    Work on the design review, which will tease out the possible options at the site, will begin immediately.

    When it is completed, the findings will be subject to public consultation.

    The announcement comes days after it was confirmed that an oral hearing into a proposed bypass of Galway will get under way next month.

    Meanwhile, the number of new homes being built across the country increased by almost 40 percent last year.

    15,000 were under construction in December, according to a new Residential Buildings Report from GeoDirectory.

    However the number completed was down slightly on 2018, to just over 20,000.

    The average property price nationwide is now 295,000 euro - with Dublin the highest at 420,000 and Leitrim the lowest at 121,000.

  • A protest is taking place today outside the Ballina Civic Offices, over the lack of social housing in Mayo.

    Today’s protest has been organised by the Ballina Housing Action Committee.

    Joe Daly of Mayo People Before Profit was one of those protesting today.

    He told Midwest News that they are concerned about the high number of vacant properties in Mayo – 15,000 in total, 10,000 of which are not holiday homes.

    3,000 families are on the social housing waiting list in Mayo, with 500 of those in Ballina.

    Mr Daly says Mayo County Council need to look at purchasing some of these vacant properties by way of Compulsory Purchase Orders.

  • A Special meeting of Mayo County Council will take place this afternoon (Friday), where elected councillors will discuss the housing crisis in the county.
    It was called by councillors following criticism of the lack of affordable houses at a recent meeting of the Westport/Belmullet Municipal District meeting.
    Westport-based councillors Peter Flynn and Christy Hyland criticised the decision by Mayo County Council not to include affordable houses in a 50 unit development on the Golf Course Road in Westport and called into question the overall strategy of delivering housing in the county.
    The Special Meeting of the authority takes place virtually this afternoon at 12pm
  • Mayo and Donegal County Councils will have to come up with a temporary accommodation solution for people who will have to leave their homes due to pyrite damage, and will need somewhere to live while their homes are being rebuilt.

    That's according to the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Councillor Michael Smyth.

    The Swinford-based Councillor has written to the Housing Minister, asking that the local authorities be permitted to use land in their ownership to construct temporary modular housing for the families affected, which can then be deconstructed when no longer needed.

    Speaking with Midwest News, Cathaoirleach Smyth said the issue of providing accommodation for families affected by pyrite is a challenge, given the shortage of homes currently available to rent in the county....

  • A 3-year delay in approving planning permission for a house in south Mayo has been criticised by a local councillor.

    At this week's meeting of the Claremorris / Swinford Municipal District, FG Councillor Patsy O'Brien proposed a part 8 planning for a four-bed house in a rural area, but says it's unfortunate the hoops and obstacles that people have to go through to secure planning in rural parts of the county.

  • Councillors in the Westport/Belmullet Municipal District , earlier this week, approved a Part 8 planning to allow the development of 50 local authority houses at Golf Course Rd in Westport to be constructed.

    Funding of 11.5 million euro has been secured by government for the development, however, a number of councillors on the authority voted against it.

    Fine Gael Councillor Peter Flynn was among the three objectors, on the grounds that he believes affordable housing units should be included in the development.

    Cllrs Johno O’Malley and Christy Loftus concurred with that view and they insisted that with so many young couples in Westport who cannot afford to buy homes on the open market, and yet fail to qualify for social housing, that these families need to be accommodated in any new housing estate in the town.

    However, council management were quite clear, that what was on the table at the monthly meeting of the Municipal District was to approve or reject, the construction of an 11.5 million euro, 50 unit social housing development at this particular location.

    After extensive and heated debate a vote was taken on the matter and approval for the development was secured on a vote of four to three. Cllrs Mulroy, McNamara, Carey and Coyle voting for the development.

    Midwest news Editor Teresa O’Malley asked Councillor Flynn why he opposed the building of 50 social housing units in the town?