Homeless families no longer prioritised for social housing

Homeless families will no longer be prioritised over other people on the social housing waiting list.

According to The Irish Times, Dublin City Council says it plans to end the practice to prevent long stays in emergency accommodation.

Instead, it will encourage families to use the housing assistance payment to pay a landlord in the private rented sector.

It follows controversial claims by Conor Skehan, chairman of the State’s Housing Agency, that some homeless families were 'gaming the system' in order to jump the social housing waiting list.

Homeless campaigner Father Peter Mc Verry says the latest decision is an indictment of the housing system.

"Many homeless families have come from the private rented sector, they've been evicted for a variety of reasons, and now Dublin City Council is telling them 'you've got to go back to the private rented sector if you want to get permanent accommodation'," he said.

Figures obtained by Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin in November showed that almost 100,000 households were on social housing waiting lists across the country last year.

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