Independent councillor Alan Lawes has warned of a ‘tsunami’ in the homelessness situation.
His stark analysis comes after Sinn Féin spokesman on housing Eoin O’Broin claimed on LMFM this morning that Meath County Council had refused to buy a house offered to them by a private landlord.
He said, ‘A number of landlords who wish to sell up have got in contact with me, some of whom have long term tenants from the social housing list, to say they have found local authority bodies unwilling to buy.
‘One of those who have offered to sell their property to the council is in Meath’.
Lawes however says he has some sympathy for the council.
‘The Minister has said that local authorities have the ability to buy houses if landlords are selling but there are stumbling blocks when they attempt to do that.
‘One of the biggest issues is that if there is a sitting tenant in the property for sale, who has been on the housing list for say a year, is it fair that the council should effectively buy a house for them ahead of buying one for someone who has been on the list much longer.
‘Nationwide the reality is we are facing a tsunami of homelessness, locally, for example, I had four homeless people to deal with last week and as of today, I have six.
‘When you approach the council they tell you they have no beds available anywhere and advise the person to accommodate themselves.’
Meath County Council has been approached for comment.