A Letterkenny councillor has claimed the Council is not taking the issue of alternative accommodation and modular homes for defective block homeowners serious enough.
Cllr Gerry McMonagle submitted a motion calling for the Council to submit a proposal to the Department of Housing calling for the introduction and use of modular homes to house those families most in need when their homes are being demolished or remediated due to defective blocks.
He called on the council to identify sites and costing of modular home sites which could be used by defective block homeowners while their home is unfit to be lived in or being demolished.
The council’s reponse to the motion explained under the Defective Concert Block Scheme, the local authority role and function is to administer a grant scheme and the role and function does not involve local authorities providing alternative accommodation for private homeowners.
The Council also said they will not be making representations to the government on behalf of homeowners.
Cllr Gerry McMonagle said the Council’s response is ‘very disappointing’ and claimed the Council is not taking the matter seriously.
“There are concerns for families who are facing demolition of their homes and those who are living in homes that are not fit to be lived in.
“There is very little availability at the minute for alternative accommodation and mobile homes are not going to the answer for every family.
“I am very disappointed with the response I have received from the council and I don’t think they are taking this serious enough.
“They say that homeowners are looking at other options including buying or leasing mobile homes, making arrangements with family or sourcing rented accommodation.
“That is not what I am hearing. I am hearing that people need the help and support of our Council.
“I am asking we put through a proposal to the Department showing the need.
“Put together the costing and the availability of land to house these modular homes. We have the planners, architects and engineers all within our council and it is our responsibility to represent all of the people in Donegal, not just those in social housing.
“The €20,000 for emergency accommodation whilst welcome is not enough to cover the time these people will be out of their home or does it take into account those with disabilities.
“I am asking this council to use the resources it has to put a case together that will get the department to onboard the request from defective block homeowners for alternative accommodation, particularly modular homes,” Said Cllr McMonagle.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Martin McDermott who said modular homes is something everyone wants to see so something will be put inplace to help these families.
“I am sure as a council we can engage with someone to put a proposal together and send it to the Minister.
“We have been told to put an option on his desk and it is us who needs to do that.
“We are not taking this serious enough and we do need to move the option of having modular areas in different locations across the county as an alternative accommodation to alleviate the situation we are in because there is no accommodation out there.
“Even people who are getting their €15,000 at the minute are not getting accommodation.
“If you have a family with six children, it is impossible to live in a mobile home. It will not work for everyone. Not everyone has a garage, so they have to look for alternative accommodation and a lot of areas, it is not there.
“We need to get the proposal on the Minister’s desk,” said Cllr McDermott.
In response to the motion, the Council said, “Under the DCB Scheme, the local authority role and function is to administer a grant scheme.
“The role and function does not involve local authorities providing alternative accommodation for private homeowners.
“Members will be aware that the key role and function of local authorities relates to social housing provision.
“In summary, the Council has no role and is not in a position to carry out the required analysis.
“Separately, it would not be appropriate for the Council to give the impression that it will be making proposals on behalf of homeowners to government.
“Homeowner representatives already have a direct liaison link with government.
“It would seem that the Council should seek to support the homeowners in their liaison with government and work through the established arrangements.”
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