Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea is accusing the Government of allowing the country’s housing crisis to spiral out of control. According to a report from Social Justice Ireland there are more than 90,000 on waiting lists for social housing. It also claims that the poorest 10% of the population has been hardest hit by the economic downturn.
“This report should act as a wake-up call to the Government. Ministers have been promising a comprehensive housing plan since they were elected over three years ago but instead they have allowed the situation to reach crisis point. 30,000 people have been waiting on social housing list for more than four years, while almost 10,000 have been languishing on a list for over seven years”, said Deputy O’Dea.
“The numbers are increasing every year as the impact of the Government’s regressive budgets hit workers and families. Higher income and stealth taxes combined with rising rents are forcing more people onto housing lists. A housing bubble appears to be emerging in the rural rental sector, with many families being priced out of the market. The lack of construction, as well as the Government’s failure to transfer all suitable NAMA units over to local authorities has exacerbated the problem.
“It comes as no surprise that the people worst affected by this crisis are the most vulnerable. The majority of the people on the housing lists are dependent on rent supplement, and find it virtually impossible to secure a lease in the private rental market.
“The Government needs to urgently bring forward its housing policy, which is three years in the making. Minister O’Sullivan should accelerate NAMA transfers to ease the current burden before embarking on a more sustainable building programme and developing more sustainable levels of construction. These measures need to be implemented without delay, because the longer this limbo continues, the more people fall into the homelessness trap and the bigger this crisis becomes”.