Dermot Hayes has hit out at the amount of Council houses built in Clare from 2016 to 2018 and has called on the county’s electorate to end “the cosy consensus between long-time councillors and the top table”.
An Independent candidate for the local elections on May 24th, Hayes has admonished the local authority for the amount of houses constructed within recent years. In 2018, County Councils across Ireland built 2,022 houses, 2 of which were in Clare, the lowest in the Republic. 41 houses were built in Clare last year through Approved Housing Bodies.
In a statement to The Clare Echo, the Ennis Municipal District candidate remarked, “Clare County Council is in last place, even behind Leitrim, whose population is less than 30% of ours. Last place has never been good enough for the Banner and certainly not in such an important area. The current policy of Clare County Council is not working and new faces are needed to change it”.
While the County Council did exceed targets as set out by Rebuilding Ireland, Dermot was labelled their standing as “a no build approach” which he felt was “an abdication of their responsibility”. “The knock-on effects of this are felt at all points of the housing market – investors are buying more houses, renting them to the Council on the HAP scheme. This results in less housing availability in the private market and upward price pressure for young couples and others wanting to own their own homes. The only way to relieve the pressure is for Clare County Council to have a direct building programme. In 2018, under the HAP scheme alone, Clare County Council subsidised 1350 houses from private landlords, these houses are now not available for private renters and cannot be bought by people wanting to buy their own home, this money should be used to build Council houses.”
From 2014 to March of this year, the Corofin native served on the Social Development SPC which has responsibility for housing. He had to vacate his post on the SPC to contest the election and called on the electorate to ensure there are changes to the makeup of the local authority. “The cosy consensus between long-time councillors and the top table is doing a disservice to the Banner and our great town of Ennis. Voting for change is the only way to get change”