Sligo County Council currently provides long-term housing for 2,133 households through standard council house tenancies, long term leasing tenancies and Traveller halting sites in the county.
These tenancies are in Council estates, in private residential estates, in one-off rural properties and in Traveller-specific accommodation. It is now established good practice that social housing is provided in all types of settings so that there is diversity and integration in the community.
There are also 598 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) tenancies and 425 Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) tenancies, in which tenants are housed by private landlords, who are paid under HAP and RAS arrangements. In addition, Sligo County Council engages with Approved Housing Bodies (AHB) who also develop and manages social housing.
These mechanisms of delivering housing all seek to ensure that those who are unable to provide housing under their own resources, can avail of secure, good quality accommodation. In some locations in County Sligo, there are shortages of accommodation and Sligo County Council encourages landlords to make contact directly with the Housing Section if they wish to offer a property for social housing rental.
The Council provides support for its tenants in the following ways:
- Each tenant participates in a pre-tenancy course before they receive the keys, so that they are clear about their rights and obligations as a tenant and to encourage them to have pride in their new home and their new community;
- Estate Officers, Traveller Liaison and other support staff liaise with communities about their living environment;
- Community development supports are provided in key urban communities in Sligo Town.
- Estate Enhancement Grants are provided to Resident Associations to help with maintenance and grounds-keeping throughout the county;
- Special needs and vulnerable tenants were supported in 2017 through the Estate Management Pilot in which some properties were given a “face-lift”.
The Council recently adopted an updated Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy which will ensure that anti-Social behaviour issues can be investigated and dealt with in accordance with current legislation and policy; may involve other State agencies and will help residents to enjoy their homes and communities. The Council is committed to the prevention and elimination of anti-social behaviour in its tenancies.
The Homeless Unit in Sligo County Councils offices at County Hall provides a drop-in clinic each morning 9.30am-1pm (Monday-Friday) and those assessed as homeless are referred to the service providers for provision of emergency homeless services. The emergency accommodation available includes Maryville and Ballytivnan Hostels, operated by Sligo Social Services and providing 15 emergency beds and 5 short-term beds for men, women or couples. Shalomar Hostel, operated by Finisklin Housing Association provides an over-spill emergency service for nine males. Focus Ireland has two apartments in Sligo town for homeless families and the Citygate apartment complex provides long-term supported housing for persons with a disability such as addiction, mental health or physical support needs.
There are up to twenty-nine emergency beds provided every night in Sligo. On occasion homeless persons are accommodated in private hostels, b&b’s or hotels if demand exceeds the current service provision. It is noted that there has been an increase in the number of homeless families in Sligo in 2018, compared to 2017.