Council To Tackle Kinsale’s Social Housing Problem
Council To Tackle Kinsale’s Social Housing Problem Writes JJ Hurley
With a number of recent reports suggesting that Kinsale now has some of the fastest rising property prices in the country, there are concerns that those who are unable to keep pace with the increases will be left unable to pay the exorbitant rents in the private rental market. Like many towns across the country, Kinsale has seen a lack of development of social housing, with 289 approved applicants currently waiting to be housed in the Kinsale area. Certainly, the significant number of applicants poses a difficult challenge for the council’s officials, but with a decision due on a part eight planning for 40 social houses at Commogue, at the end of May, some relief may be on the way. However, the development has attracted criticism from a number of residents from the existing estates, who are already concerned at the high volume of traffic as a result of housing density in the area and the close proximity of a number of schools, which are currently resulting in traffic chaos. In addition, concerns have been raised by residents at the failure to include any private dwelling units in the proposed development at Commogue. However, in response to these concerns a spokesperson for Cork County Council said: “Commogue is all social housing. It is the Council’s policy to promote a mix of tenure. While individual construction projects, that are currently in the planning/design process, are exclusively social housing. They are smaller in scale than in the past and are designed to be integrated with existing and proposed private housing.” Asked if the council had any plans to house applicants in a number of private estates currently under construction in the district, Cork County Council said: “Units in Kinsale Manor have been assigned for social housing, a financial contribution has been received in respect on Convent Gardens and units have been accepted for social housing at another location in respect of Cluain Mara.” The council also said that having purchased four private houses in the area for use for social housing, it’s also seeking to tackle the crisis with a number of other initiatives, including acquisitions, void refurbishment, acquisition of Part V units within new private housing estates and construction of 11 turnkey units at Castleoaks and Inis Alainn, Bandon.