City housing wait list breaks 20,000 barrier

By Fiona Dillon

Over 1,100 people have been on Dublin City Council's housing waiting list for ten years or more.

The number of people waiting for housing now stands at 20,682, new figures have revealed.

A breakdown of the length of time that people are waiting on the list shows that: 2,247 have been waiting for up to one year; 10,117 have been waiting from between one year and five years; 7,137 have been waiting for five to ten years while 1,181 are awaiting ten years or more.

Meanwhile, the number of people classified as homeless on the housing waiting list in the city was 1,281 at the beginning of this month.

Fianna Fail councillor Daithi de Roiste, who sought a breakdown of the figures, told the Herald that the fact that there are over 20,000 people on the housing waiting lists "illustrates the scale of the crisis."

He said that number is only going to get bigger and bigger every day of the week, due to the lack of short to medium term projects coming on stream.

"It is not acceptable that we do have such long waiting lists for people on social housing," he said.

Mr de Roiste said that the figures relating to the numbers waiting ten years or over were disgraceful.

"That is how bad things are at the moment," he said.


The councillor pointed out that many are families who are living in really cramped conditions at the moment, and have absolutely no chance of being offered a house any time soon.

"I was dealing with one family who were on the list for more than ten years. It was a couple with two kids, and they are living with his mum and dad and two sisters in a three-bedroomed house.

"They cannot plan their future because they are waiting on a home. They are in a situation that they have no chance of getting a home any time soon."

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said it is working with the Minister Alan Kelly and the Department of the Environment, and the Dublin social housing delivery taskforce "to deliver social housing as set out in the social housing strategy 2020."

She explained that applicants assessed as being qualified for social housing support are placed on the waiting lists in a banding scheme.

"There are three bands, reflecting the levels of housing need," she said.

Band one is all priority cases, which would include medical, welfare and homeless applicants.

Band two are all "overcrowded" applications and band three are "all remaining applications."

According to the council's figures, "Area B" has a waiting list of 5,366 - this takes in Artane, Coolock, Priorswood, Darndale, Belcamp and Kilbarrack.

Applicants can choose up to three housing areas in which they would like to be accommodated.