New figures released to Fianna Fáil under a Freedom of Information request show a 34% rise in the number of households on the social housing waiting list in Dublin City. The figures are the clearest indication yet that the Government is failing to get to grips with the housing crisis in the capital, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen.

Deputy Cowen said, “A record 21,592 households are now on the social housing waiting list in Dublin alone. This is a 34% increase since 2013 and the list is growing by the day. It is a clear indication of the drastic state of the housing need in Dublin City. The totally number of people on the list, including families with dependents, is 43,872. This is a historical high and represents a serious crisis.

“The figures show that, despite Government claims, 60% of households have been entered on the list from 1 to 5 years rather than being long-term applicants. The finding demonstrates that it is this Governments complete inaction on building social housing that is the root cause of the problem.

“Despite access to record low interest rates and a deflated construction industry, the current Government has built a woeful 338 social housing units for Dublin City since 2011. This represents a mere 85 new units constructed per year, and does little to address the growing housing waiting list let alone reverse the upward trend. In contrast Fianna Fáil constructed 1,669 social housing units between 2007 and 2010.

“Minister for Environment and Local Government Alan Kelly has given Dublin City Council a paltry €35m in Social Housing Investment under his lackluster Social Housing Strategy. This will lead to the construction of 167 social housing units. His current plan will house less than 1% of the households on the social housing waiting list in Dublin City Council in 2015.

“The Government needs to seriously up its game when it comes to tackling the growing housing crisis in Dublin City and other urban areas across the country. Without significant investment in housing the crisis will only escalate in the months and years ahead.

“Fianna Fáil has already put forward an ambitious housing strategy. Our plan would see the construction of 150,000 new homes, support 80,000 first time buyers, create 80,000 jobs, empower 20,000 new local authority homeowners, and secure homes for our elderly. The time has come for the Government to put forward a realistic plan of its own to tackle the escalating housing crisis.”