Funding welcomed, but more needed

The head of the council’s housing committee said the council needs the ability to acquire housing to address long-term needs.

The head of the council’s housing committee said the council needs the ability to acquire housing to address long-term needs.

Fianna Fáil Cllr. Dessie Larkin, chairperson of the housing strategic policy committee (SPC), welcomed the housing minister’s announcement of a 354,000 euro supplementary allocation for Donegal. However, he said he believed the best long-term way to address the thousands of people on Donegal’s housing list would be through capital allocations.

The new funding will enable the council to acquire three houses, with at least one for a person with special needs.

The SPC has lobbied for capital funding and Cllr. Larkin said the allocation could be seen as a success of that work. He said council “will continue to search for every cent that’s out there” for the restoration and repair of houses and capital spending. “We will continue to advocate that priority be given to specific instance (SI) houses,” he said, adding that the new money may cover SI commitments the council has already made.

Before the government largely eliminated capital funding for local authority housing in 2011, Donegal had received money for up to 400 houses in a single year.