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60% Of Family Accommodation For Defence Force Members In Kildare Unoccupied

File image: Military.ie

The figures were obtained by the Social Democrats

Of 134 Defence Force's living quarters in Kildare, Dublin and Cork, 77 units lie empty, that's according to figures obtained by Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon.

In Kildare, 66/99 married quarters are unoccupied, according to the findings.

The news follows recent reports of a female soldier, a mother with an infant child, being denied permission to live in military accommodation.

The woman was forced to seek refuge on the couches of family and friends due to the lack of available housing options.

Amidst the current housing crisis is deeply troubling. With families in desperate need of affordable housing, it is unacceptable that these properties remain empty, Gannon insisted.

Many of these properties have deteriorated over the years, following the Department of Defence's gradual reduction in military family accommodation since the late 1990s.

However, given the current struggles faced by Defence Forces personnel in paying rent or securing affordable homes, this ongoing decline in housing stock seems counterproductive, said Gannon.

Newbridge Cllr Chris Pender is calling on the government to address the issue of unoccupied military accommodation amidst the ongoing housing crisis.

Cllr Chris Pender, expressed his concern, commenting: "The revelation that Kildare has unoccupied 66/99 married quarters amidst the current housing crisis is deeply troubling. With families in desperate need of affordable housing, it is unacceptable that these properties remain empty.

"We must prioritise the effective use of every available resource to address the housing and homelessness emergency we are facing. It is time for immediate action to bring these properties back into use and provide a lifeline to those in need.

"In the midst of a housing and homelessness emergency, it is imperative that every vacant property be utilised, even if renovation work is required to bring it up to standard. Members of the Defence Forces, along with their families, who are already coping with meagre wages, deserve better.

"The Department of Defence's refusal to reverse its policy is a slap in the face to those who serve our country.

"We cannot afford to let these unoccupied properties go to waste.

"It is high time for the government to prioritise the needs of our Defence Forces personnel and their families by ensuring that all available military accommodation is utilised effectively.

"This is a matter of urgency, and I call upon the government to address it promptly," concluded Pender.

 
 

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