Déise Today

Housing Special: Paul Johnston of Waterford Council discusses the situation locally

Housing Special: Paul Johnston of Waterford Council discusses the situation locally Housing Special: Paul Johnston of Waterford Council discusses the situation locally
Mary O'Neill

Paul Johnston is Acting Director of Housing with Waterford City and County Council.

Speaking to Damien on Deise Today Paul, who's standing in for Ivan Grimes, said the priority of the Council is getting people into houses and maintaining tenancies.

There are currently approximately 80 people working in Housing for Waterford Council, across office based and maintenance positions.

How the public in Waterford feel

Damien put it to Paul that members of the public can sometimes think local authorities don't care about their housing needs. Paul refuted this.

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Paul told Damien that the housing issue has crystalised into three strands; the social housing element, the lack of private rental and the lack of affordable housing. He said Waterford Council has exceeded its targets in terms of 'Rebuilding Ireland' to the tune of almost double. That scheme is now known as 'Housing for All.' Under this, the Council's social housing target is have completed 1100 homes by 2026.

Can the housing waiting list be shortened?

Paul said Waterford Council's plan under the 'Housing for All' scheme is build 300 houses a year into future.  This marks a continuation of the output of recent years. While Paul defended this level, Damien was keen to know if there were plans to accelerate it. Paul discussed this further, adding that an affordable housing scheme coming down the line will also tackle housing issues.

Listen back

You can hear Damien's full interview with Paul via the podcast link on this page. You can hear other issues discussed such as the inspection of rental properties by the Council.

And for more on the Deise Today housing special, click here.

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