Cllr Andrew McGuinness.
The chairman of Kilkenny's Housing Strategic Policy Committee has sounded a strong note of caution on the recent announcement of LIHAF funding for Kilkenny.
Councillor Andrew McGuinness says that it should be made clear the funding is for infrastructure such as roads — and not direct housing provision. He says that the message from Fine Gael — that Kilkenny is ‘to get 1,000 new homes by 2021’ — is misleading.
“While the news is positive to a certain degree, it means nothing to families that are crying out for local authority accommodation or the individuals that are homeless and living in emergency services in Kilkenny,” he said.
“The reality is that this is good news for developers. Not ordinary people in need of housing.
“This new infrastructure will open up land for development and while that may include a substantial amount of housing, it will be sold privately and the only obligation developers will have will be to use 10% of that housing for social and affordable purposes.
“It’s disappointing to see politics being played with this news and Fine Gael attempting to twist it into something it is not,” said the Fianna Fail councillor.
"We have been crying out for Government intervention in our housing crisis for far too long and if this is the response to countless families who have been evicted from their homes and now face homelessness, it shows how out of touch the Government is."