Kilkenny County Council has drawn down €7,000 for a caravan loan scheme and was one of only four local authorities across the country to seek the funding for Traveller accommodation.
Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin asked the Government for the amount allocated to and drawn down by all local authorities for the caravan loan scheme in each of the years 2012 to 2016, and to date in 2017.
In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers - which includes a scheme of repayable loans, together with a grant element.
Funding drawn down in respect of the caravan loan scheme 2012 to 2017 in Kilkenny stood at €640 in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 and 2015 it rose to €1,280 and last year it was €1,280.
To date this year there has been €640 drawn down leaving the overall figure since 2012 at €7,040. Kilkenny County Council was only one of four local authorities to seek funding under the scheme with Tipperary, Offaly and Clare also drawing down monies.
Cllr Malcolm Noonan says the Council has been and continues to be one of the “most proactive local authorities in the country in the provision of Traveller accommodation”.
Cllr Noonan, a member of the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee, said: “Notwithstanding the myriad of challenges we face as a local authority in the provision of social housing, we have been consistent in ensuring that we meet the needs of Traveller families.”
He added: “I would however question why only a handful of local authorities such as Kilkenny are meeting targets and drawing down funding.”