Sunday 25 March 2018

Dramatic rise in numbers on social housing waiting lists

Shocked: Barry Cowen
Shocked: Barry Cowen

Alan O'Keeffe and Paul Melia

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has come under pressure to address the social housing crisis, after a dramatic rise in the number of people on waiting lists was revealed.

The problem is particularly acute in Dublin, where there are now 44,164 waiting to be housed. This represents an increase of 12,350 in two years. The number of people nationally on social housing waiting lists shot up by more than 40,000 to 130,000 in the same period - a 45pc increase.

The new figures were obtained by Fianna Fáil environment spokesperson Barry Cowen under the Freedom of Information Act.

The figures reveal a surge of 45pc in social housing waiting lists across the country since 2013.

Mr Cowen described the figures as "shocking" and said they showed that the Government had grossly downplayed the crisis.

A spokesman for Mr Kelly said its official figures involved analysis that removed people whose names were on the housing lists of more than one council.

The figures were revealed as trade union Unite called for the Government to spend €2bn on a social housing building programme to be funded through repayment of bank bailout funds.

Irish Independent

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