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Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire calls on Government to review income thresholds for social housing

29 October, 2015 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

The maximum income levels for applicants for Social Housing in Cork County need to be reviewed, and revised upwards, according to Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire.

The Sinn Féin General Election candidate for Cork South Central was speaking after his motion calling on the Government to review the limits was passed by Cork County Council on Monday.

Councillor Ó Laoghaire said;

"The Housing Crisis, and increasing rents, have meant that more and more people are finding it extremely difficult, impossible even, to find Housing in the private sector, particularly without any assistance. People very much value the security of a long term home, above short term renting."

"Changes in Mortgage regulations have made this even more difficult. It means that first-time buyers will need a 10% deposit for the first €220,000 of their property’s cost and 20% of whatever is above this limit."

"Given the Government has done nothing by way of affordable Housing, we now have a substantial category of people who have an income too high for Social Housing, but will struggle enormously to get a mortgage in urban areas where properties are expensive."

"Housing is a right, and if the private sector cannot provide, then the state should be in a position to help. We need to open up the option of Social Housing to people who cannot afford Housing This also means that they will be entitled to rental supports such as HAP and Rent Supplement ; currently they do not receive any support."

"Currently the Income Limits for Cork County are €30,000 per annum, whereas within Cork City it is €35,000. This means that a resident of, for example, Westside Estate in Togher could be entitled to Social Housing and earn €5,000 more per annum, than a resident of Greenwood Estate who would not be entitled to Social Housing, despite the fact that they are less than 100m apart, and part of the same Housing Market. That is plainly absurd."

"In a general sense, the Government needs to review the overall situation. More and more people are being locked out of the Housing Market, and action needs to be taken to support these families.

"However, in particular, there is a need to tackle the particularly anomalous situation in Metropolitan Cork, with the huge income difference of €5,000 being entirely unfair on residents, and young families, in these areas."

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