A lack of new social housing in Bray means those who cannot afford their own homes are forced to live with relatives and remain on waiting lists until a solution is found.

Bray in County Wicklow is a town whose fortunes are currently on the rise, but the supply of houses has not matched the growth in population. Bray Urban District Council has three hundred and fifty families on their waiting lists for social housing.

For those who cannot afford to buy or build their own house, Bray is not the place to be.

A lack of funds means that the council can not commence any new building projects. Existing council houses are becoming unfit for habitation, as the money to maintain them is not there.

The early 1970s saw Bray Urban District Council undertake a low-cost social housing scheme which has resulted in hundreds of families living in homes with no fireplaces and unsuitable central heating.

Bray Urban District Councillor and GP (general practitioner) John McManus maintains that as a small town Bray does not have the resources to carry out upgrading works, and requires financial assistance from the Department of the Environment to build more homes. .

Local man Mark Brady was allocated a flat in a council estate in Fassaroe, but as it is too damp to bring his four week old baby there, he lives with his parents and his wife and young son live with her parents.

The lino in the flat is completely rotten with dampness…

The issue of children living in damp houses suffering from upper respiratory complaints is well documented, says John McManus who is familiar with this problem in Bray,

Children from those flats have to attend doctors more often.

Bray Urban Council would need two hundred houses immediately to solve this problem, but the best they can do at the moment is to build a scheme of ninety homes, and try to repair and maintain their stock of existing houses and flats. Tenants living in houses with no fireplaces also receive a grant to help with storage heating bills.

Ideally the Fassaroe flats would be replaced altogether, but as this is not a viable option an allocation from the council's housing budget will be spent on improvement works instead, until funding becomes available from government.

Bray Urban District Council has a responsibility to provide social housing says John McManus, as there are also people living in private rented poor quality accommodation paying high rents,

People will have better accommodation at a cheaper rent, by no means ideal accommodation though.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 October 1981. The reporter is Andrew Kelly.