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Navan in need of over 630 single-bed units, Cllr told

Independent Cllr Noel French has been provided with a breakdown of the number of one-bed housing units that are needed in the county and also how many one-bed units were provided in the last five years.

A breakdown was given for each of the six municipal districts – Ashbourne MD needs 216 units, Kells 260, Laytown-Bettystown 194, Navan 639, Ratoath 141, Trim 202.

Details for the number of units provided by Meath Co Council and approved housing bodies (voluntary) since 2019 – 2019 MCC 22, AHB 4; 2020 MCC 11, AHB 7; 2021 MCC 25, AHB 7; 2022 MCC 27, AHB 17; 2023 MCC 28, AHB 21 – total 169.

Separately, Fine Gael Cllr Sharon Tolan asked the council for details of all social housing units, whether local authority or approved housing bodies in all housing estates in Meath per municipal district.

The response was: Ashbourne 390, Kells 832, Laytown-Bettystown 997, Navan 1,524, Ratoath 715, Trim 871.

Aontú Cllr Emer Tóibín asked how many houses were currently vacant in Meath and what are the main delays or obstacles to the efficient and timely turnaround of council housing. She said that current statistics indicated that, nationally, the average time to re-let council houses has increased steadily since 2018, averaging at almost eight months.

In a response council officials said that the council reported to the National Independent Oversight Body for Local Government, that the time taken from the date of vacation of a dwelling to the date when the dwelling was re-tenanted averaged across all dwellings re-let during 2022 as being 30.86 weeks – a reduction of 21.5 per cent from the previous year.

This compared favourably to the national average re-letting time in 2022 of 35.22 weeks. The officials said: “The challenges experienced in achieving a timely turnaround of council housing include contractor availability, extent of the works required, time to complete allocation process including completing pre-allocation checks and refusals”.

There are 42 vacant council properties at present across all six municipal districts.