Donegal County Council's housing strategy is under scrutiny
Over one hundred applicants in Donegal have turned down an offer for social housing more than once in the last three years.
Figures released to the TheJournal.ie show Donegal County Council had the highest number of applicants turn down an offer more than once, with 129 multiple refusals from 61 applicants since 2016, of any local authority of the county.
Donegal County Council suspended 70 applicants from its housing list, which was the joint-highest number along with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
Applicants who refuse an offer of social housing more than once in a twelve-month period are suspended from their local authority’s waiting list for a year.
Those who are suspended are not offered another home by their local authority and are not considered to be ‘waiting’ during that time.
Cllr Gerry McMonagle, a member of the council’s strategic policy committee on housing, said suspending applicants is not the answer.
“Suspending people is not the way forward,” he said.
“The reason some people are being suspended is that they are refusing accommodation which they genuinely feel does not meet their housing needs. And I think we need to accept that. It could be the house is not good enough, it could be the house is in an area that they have problems with other people in the community, or it is far away from their children’s school.”
Sligo County Council had 78 multiple refusals, Leitrim County Council had 54, Cork City Council had 40 and Meath County Council had 40.