Carbery Housing Association launch a new initiative to lease privately-owned properties
Carbery Housing Association this week launched a new initiative aimed at leasing privately-owned properties throughout the county for social housing.
The move reportedly has the backing of the Government and Cork County Council. Although the project is in its infancy, the housing association has already been promised 11 properties.
Carbery Housing Association secretary Jose Ospina said once suitable properties had been identified by his association, it will liaise with the local authority which will then identify suitable tenants from its housing waiting list to occupy them.
"We intend to lease privately-owned homes for 10-20 years and rent them out to single people and families on the council housing list."
The initiative, he said, will benefit single people on the local authority housing list who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market and who cannot secure permanent council housing due to public spending cuts. "According to the last census, there are around 250,000 vacant houses in Ireland. It is far less expensive for the Government to lease them rather than build new council houses. Anyway, what would be the sense in building more homes in the country when we have so many lying unoccupied?"
He said the voluntary association was already looking at leasing nine properties in Drimoleague and one each in Bantry and Dunmanway. "We are looking to find suitable vacant properties all over Co Cork but obviously our main focus will be on West Cork as we are based there," Mr Ospina said.
The properties will be surveyed by Carbery Housing Association and Cork Co Council before any leasing agreement is signed with the owner.
In a separate move, he disclosed Carbery Housing Association had also put in a provisional request to secure 300 vacant properties in the region currently in control of Nama.