Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government failure to provide social housing for single people amounts to discrimination

2 June, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. today questioned the Minister of State with responsibility for housing, Noel Ahern T.D. regarding what measures are being taken to redress the predicament whereby single people, in particular single men, who make up 32% of the 48,000 on housing waiting lists, find it virtually impossible to secure social housing.

Deputy Morgan said:

"During my questioning of the Minister of State Noel Ahern T.D. today, he admitted that only 10% of social housing provided by local authorities is allocated to single people without dependents despite the fact that single people now make up 32% of those on local authority housing waiting lists. This amounts to discrimination against single people in the allocation of local authority housing. The Government needs to put in place measures to ensure that single people without dependents receive an equitable outcome in relation to the allocation of social housing.

"I pointed out to the Minister that the overall lack of social housing and particularly the lack of social housing being constructed to meet the needs of single people has been highlighted by groups working with the homeless as one of the primary hurdles in accommodating homeless people and enabling them to make to transition from emergency to permanent accommodation.

"The Minister must intervene to put an end to this discrimination against single people trying to access social housing. The Social Housing guidelines need to be revised to include a specific reference to the necessity for local authorities to ensure that the housing needs of single people are met and to ensure that the points system being used by local authorities do not discriminate against single people without dependents, making it impossible for them to secure social housing." ENDS

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