More than 18,000 people have been on social housing waiting lists for more than seven years.
A new assessment of the country’s social housing waiting lists shows there were 68,693 people as of mid-June 2019. This was a decline of 4.4% – some 3,165 households – in comparison to 2018.
The assessment, which is conducted by the Housing Agency and required under the Housing Act 2009, shows that the number of households on the waiting lists has decreased by 22,907 since September 2016.
However, the Summary of Social Housing Assessments 2019 also identifies lengthy waits for many of those on the waiting lists.
As well as the 18,454 people – some 26.9% of the total list – who have waited for longer than seven years, there are a further 9,974 (14.5%) who have waited between five and seven years for accommodation.
Overall, 56% are waiting longer than three years.
In addition, the government’s own assessment of its list identifies varying needs among those on the list.
The number of households with a specific requirement due to a household member being homeless rose by 17% since the previous assessment reaching 6,237 households. A growing number – almost 15,000 – identified as living with their parents.
About 53% of households qualified for social housing support are currently in the private rented sector.
Some 43.2% of all households on the waiting list are in the Dublin area, while the two Cork authorities have some 7,172 households on waiting lists, representing 10.4% of the national total. Cork City Council’s waiting list increased by 1,521 – 48.8% – but this is mostly attributed to an extension of the city boundary. Many of these applicants were previously on the waiting list for Cork County Council.
Additionally, the Department of Housing has also published an updated report on social housing construction. The report includes data until the end of September 2019.
It states there were 6,499 social homes on-site nationwide. The delivery of these homes along with the additional 8,050 homes in the pipeline will substantially aid the continued reduction in the number of households on social housing waiting lists, the department claims.
The Rebuilding Ireland programme targets the delivery of 138,000 homes by the end of 2021.
Of these, just 33,617 are direct new builds by the state, with 6,830 to be acquired and 10,036 to be leased. It also includes 83,760 HAP tenancies and 3,800 RAS tenancies.