Council Archives

Concern over moves to give Naas natives priority for houses

Fri 4 Feb 2000

Councillor Conway was speaking during a UDC debate on the new initiative which proposes to supply quality housing at more reasonable prices than the current market would dictate.

“More points should be given to people who born in Naas and baptised in Naas. These houses are for Naas people. At the moment, we have many Naas people who have to go down to Athy to get a house they can afford. We should give Naas people priority so they can stay here” he said.

But this was not the consensus around the council table as some councillors expressed concern at Councillor Conway’s remarks.

“There maybe should be favour given based on how long the people have been living in the town but it shouldn’t have anything to do with baptismal certs or whatever,” said Councillor Pat McCarthy.

Councillor Mary Glennon said: “It is dangerous to suggest that people who come to live in Naas cannot avail of the scheme. If that were the case then my son would not be allowed to use the scheme as he was not born or baptised in Naas.”

Fine Gael councillor, Pat O’Reilly, suggested a more inclusive system of allocation.

“It shouldn’t matter where they come from so long as they are living and working in Naas,” he said.

It was also suggested by a number of councillors that a points system be devised which would favour people who have been living in the town longer than others.

As part of the proposed scheme, the council intend to include a claw back clause in order to prevent people using the house as a speculative investment. Under the clause, the owner of the house would not be able to sell it for a period of five years without incurring a charge to the UDC on the profit made.

There was wide approval for this clause, with most councillors agreeing that it would help keep the housing for genuinely deserving people and avoid speculation.

Councillor O’Reilly, however, said that the proposed clause did not go far enough.

“I welcome the idea of the claw back scheme and we have to make sure that nobody uses these houses as a money making exercise. I think it should be extended for ten years rather than five,” he said.

In welcoming the overall scheme of affordable housing, the chairman of the UDC, Councillor Séamie Moore said that it was a tribute to the town that the council was leading the way in considering such a new and innovative plan. He also pointed out some extra features of the plan which he thinks should be included in the final draft.

“Extra points should be allocated to current tenants of the UDC, especially good tenants. If they were able to take up the new housing then it would free up tenancy for other people. There should really be a grade of points for the number of years spent on the housing list,” he said.

Councillor Moore also said that sub tenancy should not be allowed, and that they will have to include a feature to protect themselves against that.

Town clerk, Declan Kirrane, thanked the councillors for their suggestions and pointed out that the plan he had issued was just a draft and that all the suggestions would be considered.

Mr. Kirrane said that unfortunately the UDC was not in a position to offer further loans for these houses but that people could apply to Kildare County Council and the UDC could give its own approval on individual cases in order to try and assist them.

An Affordable Housing Programme is expected to back before the council in the near future.