Tuesday 12 December 2017

Waiting list for social housing nearly doubles in three years

Claire O'Brien and Paul Melia

THE number of families on a waiting list for social housing has almost doubled in just three years.

Housing Minister Willie Penrose yesterday admitted that almost 100,000 people were hoping to secure a home from local authorities, up from 56,000 in 2008 when the last national count was conducted.

And the voluntary sector will be expected to provide homes for these families, as the Government will not be allowed build or purchase properties.

Mr Penrose said that because of the EU/IMF deal, the money was not available to fund properties. This is despite house prices plummeting and almost 33,000 homes unoccupied in so-called ghost estates.

The minister said the Department of the Environment was trying to coordinate ways of providing housing but "because of the troika we are not in a position to go the route of building and acquisition."

This meant a "significant" number of those houses will have to be provided by the voluntary and community sector.

"We will be making every effort to ensure that either through long-term leasing initiatives or through rental schemes or rent with a purchase option at the end, that all options will be explored," he said.

Mr Penrose said that plans to finish homes in ghost estates would be finalised by next January, and that negotiations were ongoing with NAMA, developers and contractors about some of the homes being used for social housing.

Irish Independent

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