Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis has today stated that the new figure for housing need in the state is clear evidence the government has failed to properly tackled the long running housing crisis.
He was responding to the release of the Summary of Social Housing Assessments 2013 which found housing need had trebled in a decade standing now at just under 90,000 households.
Deputy Ellis said;
“Anyone involved in housing or familiar with the crisis could not be shocked by these figures but they are an utter condemnation of government policy. Over one billion euro has been cut from housing since 2008 as well as cuts to basic social welfare payments and rent supplement.
“These cuts have led to local authorities being unable to provide homes, repair vacant homes or even to properly maintain currently occupied housing. People who are housed right now are living in worse and worse conditions, with damp walls and unreliable plumbing and heating.
“It has been made much harder for people to get on waiting lists and some areas have seen people taken off unbeknownst to them, but still numbers rise. Waiting times for housing have never been longer in recent memory. One in five applicants wait five years to be housed, one in ten wait at least seven. I have a number of people in my area waiting in excess of ten years.
“The solution is real investment in social housing. The Minister claims to be doing this but she has cut 60 million euro from housing in 2014.
“Local authorities are the best way to solve the crisis, they must be empowered to raise funds for social housing through trusts and begin a new era of public provision. The other option of hoping private landlords will provide real social housing is pure fantasy.”