Councillors in Ballina have expressed astonishment at how anyone that was offered social housing accommodation in the newly completed 55 unit, Rehins Fort housing estate, on the Foxford Road in Ballina, rejected the offer.

The new state of the art development is completed, and some weeks ago Ballina Municipal District sent out offers to people on the local authority’s social housing list to take up a tenancy in the new development, and yet a number of householders refused the offer.

This position was confirmed to councillors at this week’s Ballina Municipal District Meeting by council management and councillors said they would certainly like to know why anyone refused the offer and Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly said anyone who rejected the offer should not be offered alternative accommodation “any time soon”.

In light of the ongoing housing shortage in Ballina, and across the county and country, cllr Munnelly insists that the income bands used to allow an applicant to apply for social housing need to be substantially increased or even abandoned, and local authorities should have the power to impose their own criteria for local social housing eligibility.

He says, the reality is that no working couple, even on low wages, can qualify to apply for social housing at present because of the income band limitations and he has again called for changes in how social housing is provided.

Councillor Munnelly outlined his concerns to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley...



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