Joanna Byrne Welcomes Choice Based Letting for Louth

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne, Chairperson of The Housing Strategic Policy Committee for Louth welcomes the implementation of Choice Based Lettings for the County. Currently the Choice Based Lettings system is used in Louth for the allocating of some Social Housing mainly those with high refusal rates but this is now being extended to the full county for all allocations in May 2017.

The scheme is an online service that allows applicants to express interest in advertised council properties on a weekly basis. All allocations from May 9th will be made through this system, except those based on medical needs, specially adapted, elderly units or homelessness. All Local Authority Housing list applicants will receive letters next week outlining the changes in the allocation procedure and log on details of how each one of them can access the CBL system.

Every Tuesday morning available properties for that week will be added to the system and will remain open until the following Monday night at midnight. Throughout this period any applicant can express their interest in a property ‘suitable’ to them. A suitable property is one that you have chosen that matches your housing needs and in your areas of choice..

The successful applicant is then chosen based on:

* Your waiting time on Louth County Councils waiting list

* Your family size

* The type of property you are approved for

* Your category under the scheme of allocations

* Estate Management

There will also be advertisements in the local papers and a publicity campaign launched by Louth County Council this week to create awareness on these changes.

Cllr Byrne said: “I welcome the implementation of the Choice Based Lettings process in Louth. I believe it will give local authority housing list applicants ownership over their own housing needs. They only have to apply for a house they choose and can see themselves and their families settling in long-term.

“This in turn will reduce the high rate of refusals we have in the county and speed up the turnaround time for allocations. I am also delighted to see the local authority invest in the resources of computers in each of the four council buildings in the county, and fully trained customer service staff to assist with those who aren’t computer literate or have literacy issues, as this was initially a huge concern of mine.

“Like all new systems being implemented it will be a learning curve for both us as Public Representatives and the constituents themselves, but from leasing with colleagues on other councils, South Dublin County Council in particular who piloted this project four years ago, I have only heard positive feedback.

“This process will not have a dramatic impact on reducing the numbers on waiting lists, the government still need to invest in the supply of more social housing, it will however speed up the allocation process for any stock that becomes available.”

Sinn Féin urge strong presence at Right2Water Protest

On Saturday April 8th, the Right2Water Campaign are giving one final push with another National Demonstration before April’s Oireacthas Water Committee Meeting whose recommendations will decide if water charges are scrapped or retained.
The last demonstration in September saw crowds of 80,000+ take to the streets of Dublin in yet another Mass Protest to Abolish Unfair Water Charges.
Sinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne is urging those of you who oppose water charges to “get out and support this event”. She says “Nothing but the full and complete abolition of water charges, and the dismantling of Irish Water, will satisfy the democratic wishes of the Irish people. We have had an election that returned a majority of TDs who ran on a platform of ending water charges. The time has come for those TD’s to stand to their mandate.”
The rally will assemble at 2pm at both Connolly Station, and Heuston Station in Dublin.

Pictured above is Sinn Féin Councillors Joanna Byrne and Kenneth Flood leading a strong Sinn Fein contingence from Louth at the last R2W Rally in September.

Pictured right is Cllr Joanna Byrne

Cllr Bryne Calls For Laurence Park clean up

joanna-byrne-1Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne has called on Louth County Council to urgently clean up the Bonfire Residue left at St. Laurence’s Park Green.

Following complaints from distressed residents of St. Laurence’s Park, Cllr Byrne brought the issue of the bonfire residue left behind in the green area to the attention of Louth County Council.

It is now two weeks since Halloween and this area needs to be cleaned up with several mounds of ashes and leftover bonfire material scattered throughout the green. The longer this remains fires will continue to be lit and illegal dumping may return which has been a recent issue in the same area.

The council worked hard over the last few months to clean this area up at my request, and it is imperative we do not let the standards slip, for the sake of all residents between St.Laurences Park and also Moneymore.

After speaking to some residents over the weekend Cllr Byrne said

“As time is ticking by, this is of course a contentious issue for these residents, especially those who live nearer the vicinity of the green area. They are anxious that this is cleaned up as soon as possible. Not only is this an eyesore, but the air quality among this vicinity is being affected by the continuing lighting of fires among these leftover mounds.”

I have contacted the council and have asked them to act as a matter of great urgency and I am now calling on them to immediately tidy up this area as it is a main walk through between Moneymore and the St. Laurence’s Park & Drive area. I have also asked them to continue to monitor this area and not allow it to return to a site for illegal dumping”.