Proposals were announced recently to implement penalties on social housing applicants who turn down two housing offers.

These applicants would not be offered another social housing unit for 5 years. 

Fianna Fail local election candidate, William O’Leary from Rathcormac, welcomed the news and feels it is 'a positive step'.

“I have to say I welcome these proposals. Deterrents must be put in place to stop people from turning down perfectly good offers of social housing for, let’s face it, reasons that are just not valid or good enough. That is not to say that on occasions there may be valid reasons for doing so.]

“I have heard some commentators counteract this during the week by saying that people turn down social housing for a number of reasons, including that there might not be enough bedrooms for a bigger family or it might be a distance away from a particular person’s family home area. I couldn’t disagree with this more,” continued Mr O’Leary.

The Fianna Fail candidate said that when a person gets an offer of a social house, which is effectively an offer of free accommodation, he feels that they need to be willing to be flexible. 

“If this means having 2 or 3 in a bedroom or moving a few miles away from home, they need to be more accepting of the situation."

Mr O'Leary said he is not against anybody getting a social house and in an ideal world, said he would love to see a situation where everyone is satisfied.

"However, there are examples of situations whereby a partnered couple with a young family may both be working full time. Their wage packet combined, may be over the threshold to be approved for social housing and too low to be approved for a mortgage. It is these people who would appreciate to be given any offer of housing wherever location it is in, and it does not bode when people turn offers down for minute reasons”.