Labour Councillor Joe Leddin has called for the Council to provide a list of all Council-owned land within the Metropolitan District in order to fast-track the building of more houses during the ongoing housing crisis.
At the monthly meeting this Monday, Cllr Leddin stated that it is the Council’s responsibility to “do what we can to be more proactive” and to “fast-track the building of houses” for those who need them.
“There should be an update on what the Council owns around the city,” said the Limerick City West Cllr, adding that although there is no current information on the issue, a previous survey stated that the Council owned “23 sites across the city”.
Sinn Fein Cllr Séighin O’Ceallaigh commented that it is “ridiculous” that such a list does not already exist. “It’s not fair that we’re talking about new developments. We should be working with what we already have,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, Solidarity Cllr Cian Prendiville claimed: “There are almost 300 acres in the Metropolitan District that the Council owns. Even if only half of that was developed, it would help.”
The Limerick City North Cllr added that “sites should be a mix between social and affordable housing” to accommodate those who are over the income threshold of social housing but still can’t afford the rising rent costs.
Fine Gael Cllr Daniel Butler also raised issues about those who are currently living in emergency accommodation as a result of the nation-wide housing crisis.
“Children wake up in a hotel room and go to school. This is totally unacceptable.”
“We have everything ready to go for 18 units but can’t deliver until 2019,” he stated, adding that it is an “incredibly slow” and “incredibly complex” process.
In response, Fianna Fail Cllr Keiran O’Hanlon proposed that the Council should “have a special meeting with officials to discuss this” where all members will receive a “complete briefing” of what Council-owned housing and sites are available.
The members of the Council concluded that the list will be made available in the near future, while Deputy Mayor of the Metropolitan District FF Cllr Vivienne Crowley added that this information “should be circulated on a regular basis”.