Over 3,000 seeking housing assistance in Co Kilkenny

Over 3,000 households in Co Kilkenny are currently seeking accommodation assistance from Kilkenny County Council, and part of the increase is coming from relationship breakdowns.

Over 3,000 households in Co Kilkenny are currently seeking accommodation assistance from Kilkenny County Council, and part of the increase is coming from relationship breakdowns.

About two-thirds of those 3,054 households are in the city and environs area (1,952), and the other areas with the highest demand include Callan (125), Ferrybank (108) and Castlecomer (107) as of the end of September, as outlined in the council’s quarterly housing report. And while the numbers are increasing across the board, senior executive officer Martin Mullally said that one cause was relationship breakdowns after which both sides would end up applying for housing assistance. In such cases, he said, “we have in effect a doubling of applications.”

Of the total on the council’s housing list, 2,645 cited “financial” as their main reason for seeking assistance, with other reasons including medical or compassionate, overcrowding, sharing involuntarily, disabled, elderly and Travellers.

The council is still seeing a “high level of refusals” on offer of social housing, however, according to Mr Mullally. The reasons for refusal “vary from area to area” and “in the city it is primarily to do with location”, he said. In other areas, the reasons include being offered a duplex or type of accommodation not preferred, “unreasonable expectations”, or a preference to remain in private rented accommodation, he said.

Of the 142 offers of accommodation made, 91 (64%) were accepted and 51 (36%) were refused.

Just over half of people seeking local authority accommodation (55%) have requested one-bedroom accommodation, with a further 18% asking for two-bedroom accommodation.