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Minister underplays housing need as 140,000 households are waiting for social housing - Eoin Ó Broin TD

9 March, 2021 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has accused Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien of ‘deliberately underplaying the number of households in need of social housing’.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

"Today Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien released the annual Housing Needs Assessment. The report found that the number of households on Council housing waiting lists fell by 6,813 from June 2019 to November 2020, a fall of 9.9%.

"However, the Minister's claim that this represents progress in tackling social housing need is not true. The Minister is deliberately underplaying the number of households in need of social housing.

"During the same period covered in the Housing Needs Assessment, the number of households claiming the Housing Assistance Payment increased by 11,115. This is a short term support for social housing applicants while they are waiting for their Council housing. However HAP recipients do not feature in the Council waiting list figures.

"This means that contrary to Minister O’Brien's claim, social housing need has actually increased by 4,302 households, a jump of 6%.

"When all those on Council waiting lists and HAP and RAS recipients are added together the real level of social housing need is over 140,000. Yet Government only has plans to address a third of this, and that doesn’t include future applicants.

"What these figures show is that Government is not investing enough to meet real social housing need. That is why subsidies to social housing tenants living in the private rental sector are increasing year on year."

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