Concern That Squeezed Middle In Clare Are Being Locked Out Of Housing

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It’s claimed there is a growing number of low to middle income earners in Clare who are ‘locked out of housing’.

The number of applicants on the social housing list now stands at close to 2,900, while there are currently no Government plans to deliver affordable housing in this county up to 2026.

Concern has been expressed that more and more people are being locked out of housing in this county.



It comes as new figures show there are 2,870 applicants seeking social housing in Clare, with the local authority saying it’s continuing housing delivery ‘at pace’.

Capital projects in Tulla, Ennis and Miltown Malbay are due to be completed ‘shortly’ and advertised on the choice based letting system in the coming weeks.

But the Chair of Clare County Council’s Housing Committee says they’re struggling to meet demand, as the housing need is outstripping supply.

Shannon Independent Councillor Gerry Flynn has compared policies of successive Governments to ‘Groundhog Day’ saying the right balance isn’t being struck between social and affordable housing.

There are no areas in Clare, apart from Ennis which would qualify for the affordable housing scheme as it only applies to large urban centres with a population in excess of 10,000.

However, under the Government’s Housing for All plan, 18 councils will build 7,550 affordable purchase homes using state-owned land by 2026, and Clare isn’t among them.

The county’s Sinn Féin Councillor says she knows of cases where multiple families are sharing one home, while others are going without food because of climbing rents.

Donna McGettigan says there are too many of the so called ‘squeezed middle’, whose earnings put them just over the threshold for social housing, but they can’t access affordable housing or a mortgage either and she says it’s not sustainable.

The Chair of Ennis branch of the Labour party insists there needs to be top-down direction for change.

Seamus Ryan is calling for greater regulation of Air BnB to put rental properties back onto the market, with local authorities funded to build an buy houses.

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