Steep rise in social housing waiting list

The number of people on the waiting list for social housing in Cork increased by almost 10% in the past year.

Steep rise in social housing waiting list

Figures provided by both local authorities show 1,401 more people waiting for a home than a year ago.

The figures also highlight problems faced by people waiting for a house or an apartment and, who may be struggling with rising rents, particularly in the city.

Some groups which work with the homeless and vulnerable families have said the lack of housing options is pushing some people towards their services.

The pressure on some families and individuals is highlighted by other figures from Cork City Council which show that, as of December 11, there was a waiting list of five people with seven dependents, including babies, for Cork City Homeless Services.

The last return to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government of November 25 shows 11 people with 19 dependent children being accommodated in homeless services in the region.

At the beginning of December 2013, the number of people on the social housing list was 7,811 but, on the same date this year, it stood at 8,619.

Asked about the allocation of social housing, particularly regarding those with children, a spokesperson for Cork City Council said: “All Social Housing Support Applicants, on completion and submission of an application for Social Housing Support, are assessed under the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 as amended and in accordance with Cork City Council’s Allocations Scheme to determine their housing need and the priority of that need.

“The categories of housing need include whether the current accommodation is an institution, emergency accommodation or a hostel.

“Each case is assessed and the priority of housing needs determined.”

In Cork County Council, meanwhile, the number of people on the waiting list has increased from 6,041 a year ago to 6,634 this month.

According to the local authority, waiting times depend on a number of variables such as the applicants areas of choice or the type of unit they are approved for.

Applicants living in dwellings deemed to be dangerous as defined in Section 3 of the Sanitary Services Act, 1964 or being displaced by operation of the Local Authority are given priority when it comes to allocation, ahead of applicants deemed to be homeless, those living in unfit and overcrowded conditions, applicants living in unfit conditions, applicants living in overcrowded conditions, applicants in need of housing on disability, medical, compassionate or other similar grounds, and those not included in any of these categories but who have been assessed and approved for social housing support.

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