Wednesday 16 October 2019

Income 'too high' for housing list

Over the past five years some 55 applicants who applied for housing from Sligo County Council were turned down because their income was too high.

And, it is likely that many more don't even apply when they see the income limit scale, a meeting of Sligo County Council was told where a call was amde for a review of the thresholds.

The figure was revealed at the meeting of Sligo County Council where Councillor Keith Henry called for a review of the income limits for eligibility for social housing.

"It is 2011 since income levels were reviewed for people to be eligible for social housing.

"Since then with minimum wage increases etc peoples incomes have increased but so too has the cost of living.

"Therefore there are people who fall between two stools in that they cannot get a mortgage and they cannot get social housing," he said.

The current income limits begin at €25,000 for a single person and increase to €30,000 depending on the household size.

Councillor Henry said: "People who are making a genuine effort to better themselves and their families by working should not be penalised for doing so.

"I've tried to help several people who are a few hundred euro over the limit for council assistance and therefore don't apply and yet a bank won't even entertain the thought of a mortgage."

In his report housing official Joe Murphy informed the meeting that 55 households had been refused on income limits over the past five years but acknowledged that many more probably don't apply when they see the income threshold.

Cllr Henry added:"I agree that there should be some income limit but it doesn't take in account the increased cost of living and the government should be doing more for those who are working and not earning enough for a mortgage.

"I would ask that the Council write to the Minister asking for a review to take place seeing as its eight years since we last had one."

Sligo Champion