Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Family snubs council house offer because no room for trampoline

A council in the Republic of Ireland has hit out at the high number of people refusing offers of social housing – with one family refusing a house because they complained there wasn't enough room in the garden for a trampoline.

Cork County Council warned that refusals were clogging the system and delaying housing offers for genuine applicants.

The problem is also hitting housing waiting lists in Dublin, Galway and Waterford.

In one three-month period, the Cork authority made a total of 60 housing placement offers in a single Glanmire estate on the outskirts of Cork city.

However, they were faced with a near 50pc refusal rate.

Councillors had criticised the housing authority for long waiting lists, but housing officials said that the problem was exacerbated by a large number of refusals from people on the 7,023-strong waiting list.

Senior executive officer Karina Cremin said home offers were often refused because of a lack of garden space.

One applicant even refused a house offer because they explained that there was no space in the garden for a trampoline for their child.

But Cllr Veronica Neville of Fine Gael claimed that the refusal of a house on the basis of garden size was a legitimate reason.

"We are talking about very human things here. This is not just a house. It's a place for them to live too," she said.

Service director Mary Ryan claimed that the high refusal rate was delaying the allocation of houses to people with real need.

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