Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called for Waterford Council to promote the Improvement Works In Lieu scheme (IWIL), which allows local authorities to improve or extend privately owned houses as an alternative to providing a council house. The local authority carries out the work and the occupier pays the council back over a fifteen year period.
“I recently made representations for a family that wished to avail of the IWIL scheme and soon realised that there was little knowledge or experience of the scheme within the Council, in fact I was told that I was the first councillor to make a representation in this regard in many years.
“The scheme can be particularly useful for families or individuals with a housing need that have access to an unsuitable or overcrowded private dwelling. The housing and homelessness crisis is often seen as an urban issue, but it impacts on rural communities too. Rural Ireland is also subject to a lack of affordable accommodation for purchase or rent, and this coupled with sparse social housing in rural areas is leading to overcrowding and added pressures in urban locations.
“The IWIL scheme provides people with a sustainable solution to their housing need in their own community. I have called for a promotion campaign to inform the public of the scheme and I would encourage anyone who feels this solution might be for them to drop me a line on 087 9345603.”