Fireman and Six Year Old Daughter Face Second Christmas Homeless

By Seamus Whelehan

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A homeless Cork County Council employee with a six year old child is facing into a second Christmas living in a Campervan, Cllr Noel Collins has claimed.

The Midleton based Cllr told Monday’s Southern Committee that soaring rents have forced the Firefighter to live in a Midleton Car Park as he is earning too much for a social house, but not enough to get a mortgage.

Mr Collins, who named the individual, said he was very concerned about the affect which this is having on the fireman and his young daughter.

The Independent Cllr raised the issue during a debate on the County’s 3 year Housing Strategy 2018 -2020 where he was seeking the employment of social workers to cope with the housing crisis.

He said “with some housing applicants living in deplorable, overcrowded and broken down house facilities it is vitally important that Council give consideration to the appointment of 4 social workers.”

Committee Chairman, Michael Hegarty, threatened Cllr Collins that he would “rule the Motion out of order” if he continued with his course of action.

The Council Executive remained silent on the matter looking decidedly shocked following the outburst, and unsure of what action to take should Mr Collins proceed.

Following a number of angry interactions between Mr Collins and the Committee Chair, a frustrated Mr Collins conceded and continued on with his Agenda item.

In a written report to Council the Authority Director of Housing, Maurice Manning, said the HSE was the Body responsible for employing social workers.

He said the Council currently has one social worker to liaise with the Traveller community, and there are also three Tenancy Sustainment Officers in place to deal with homeless issues.

Under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Programme, the Council received 349 valid applications of which 187 were approved and 145 refused because they either had an outstanding car loan or were unable to raise the deposit amount.

The average loan approval in South Cork is €186,968, while the average across the County is €174,951.

Under the Authority Social Housing Programme they are expected to have delivered over 2,000 homes across the County by the end of their 3 year programme in 2020.

In 2018 they provided 536 homes through a number of programmes, with 634 deliv21ered this year.

Next year the Council say they will make 922 units available, supplying a total of 2067 homes in the 3 years since 2018.

Of the 2020 Programme of Works 78 units are at preliminary stage including 50 at Broomfield Midleton, 1 in Cobh and 12 in Ballycotton.

There are 182 homes at design stage, 16 of which are in Avoncore and 70 in Abbeywood Midleton, 2 in Cloyne and 11 in the Uplands Fermoy.  40 are at Tender stage.

335 properties are at construction stage, 7 are completed in Towns Park Cloyne with a further 2 to be completed at Tower View Cloyne shortly, and 8 in Connolly Street Fermoy,

There are also a number of turnkey schemes in Youghal and Midleton.  14 units are completed in Tir Cluain Midleton, with 19 units finished in Parklands Youghal and 6 new homes in Cluain Árd Cobh.

A further 35 units are currently under construction in Sweetfields, Youghal.

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1 COMMENT

  1. In many cases it’s a hard working, dedicated, single mother who needs assistance. I assume Cllr Collins has ensured all his facts were checked before speaking out about, potentially, a loving single mother and her child days before Christmas.

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