Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler has called on Waterford City and County Council to introduce a new system for allocating housing in the county. Deputy Butler says the local authority should look at the success of the ‘Choice Based Housing Letting’ system which has been piloted on a successful basis in Dublin and Cork.
“Choice Based Lettings is a new method of housing allocation which is widely used in other countries such as the United Kingdom. It allows people to register their interest in a new housing vacancy in a specific locality. The new allocation system helps to reduce the number of vacant properties and helps match people to the housing which is most suitable to them,” said Deputy Butler.
“Under the new scheme housing vacancies that come about in specific areas will be advertised in the media. People can then register their interest in these vacancies with the council. If a number of people express an interest in a property then the final offer will be made to the applicant who is currently placed highest on the housing waiting list.
“This new system is a fair and practical way of allocating housing. No one is forced into a home which they are not happy with, and people’s positioning on the housing waiting list is respected. Importantly it helps to reduce the number of vacant council properties and will help address the ongoing housing emergency.
“In 2015 over 40% of all first time housing offers in Waterford were refused for various reasons. It’s clear a change to the allocation system is needed to make if fit for purpose. Choice Based Lettings has been trialed successful in areas such as Cork and Dublin. I believe Waterford City and County Council should introduce the scheme on a pilot basis here in Waterford.
“There are currently 3,460 households on the social housing waiting list which is a 36% increase since September 2015 and an 84% increase since May 2013. It’s clear that Waterford is in the midst of a housing emergency. We need a comprehensive package of housing policies to address this emergency and Choice Based Lettings should be part and parcel of this alongside the construction of new homes.”