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17/10/2021

Assurances sought for Kilkenny's vulnerable tenants amid Covid-19 crisis

No B&B accommodation will be used during this period, says Green Party councillor

KILKENNY

FILE PIC: Assurances sought for people living in emergency accommodation and in Traveller accommodation.

A local councillor says she has received assurances from Kilkenny County Council that the most vulnerable local authority tenants will be protected amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Maria Dollard commended the council’s efforts to support these tenants. 

“I am really heartened to see it is ‘all hands to the pump’,” she said, in reference to the council’s response to the crisis.

The Green Party councillor said she had sought reassurance regarding facilities being made available to people living in emergency accommodation and in Traveller accommodation. 

“We all know how important it is to have access to adequate washing facilities and to be able to self isolate if necessary but it is equally important to be able to access accurate public health information and social welfare supports,” says Cllr Dollard.

“I wanted to know that the council is providing these to people who most need it. I’m happy to say that I have received assurances from Mary Mulholland, Director Services with responsibility for housing, that alternative housing solutions will be offered to Traveller families in unsuitable accommodation and that emergency accommodation will only be provided at designated hotel and hostels. No B&B accommodation will be utilised during this period.”

Where a need for isolation arises, additional facilities are secured with arrangements in place for the provision of food, laundry and support services at each door. In relation to other vulnerable groups and individuals not in need of housing supports, but who may be in need of assistance with shopping or delivery of medication, the community section of Kilkenny County Council is working with a number of agencies to provide information and support.

“We must face this challenge not only as individuals but most importantly as a community," said Cllr Dollard.

"Community and voluntary organisations such as the Father McGrath FRC, our GAA clubs, our community Gardaí, An Post and so many others are pulling together to support their communities and I commend them. Small things make the difference; the library staff are making social welfare application forms available outside of our libraries for example. If we can work together, at a safe distance, to reduce the spread of this virus then we will emerge as stronger communities.”

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