12,000 people live in houses with no indoor flushing toilet

DESPITE the building boom of the past decade at least 12,000 people live in houses with no indoor flushing toilet while double that number have no bath or shower.

A half million people live in homes with leaking roofs, or that suffer from dampness or with rotting window frames, while around 250,000 say they don’t get enough light.

This compares with Spain, which had a similar housing boom for which it is now suffering also, where no resident lives in a house without a flushing toilet or shower, according to the EU survey.

Denmark, Malta, the Netherlands and Sweden also say none of their citizens have to use outdoor or chemical toilets while in the Netherlands everybody has a bath or shower.

The figures come from a survey of living standards in member states and show Irish people generally are well housed. The country has just 3% of the population living in flats — the fewest number of people of all 27 EU states despite the number built, especially in Dublin, over the past few years.

This, together with the fact that 40% live in detached houses, might account for householders having the least amount of complaints about noise such as from neighbours and they also suffer the least pollution.

More than half live in semi-detached houses and have one of the lowest rates of over-crowding at around 4%, though among people at risk of poverty, the figure was double this.

Again the Spanish fare better in this criteria with fewer living in overcrowded conditions. This compared to more than half the Hungarian, Romanian and Latvian populations.

According to the study, householders with the biggest housing cost problems were people renting accommodation. More than one-in-five said they could find it difficult to pay their rent.

When the survey was carried out in 2009 little more than 2% of the 30% of homeowners with mortgages said they were having problems meeting the costs of keeping their homes, including meeting their repayments or paying for utilities.

A Commission spokesperson said that housing deprivation is one of the most extreme examples of poverty and social exclusion in society. But even though access to affordable accommodation is a fundamental need and right, many countries are finding it difficult to deliver.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Irish Examiner live news app for smartphones lets you quickly access breaking news, sport, business, entertainment and weather. appstoregoogle play
Irish Examiner ePaper app gives you the entire newspaper delivered to your phone or tablet for as little as 55c a day. epaper

More From The Irish Examiner