THE NUMBER OF people on local authority housing lists has sprouted massively in the last three months.
A new investigation by RTÉ Prime Time has found that the numbers of people on a waiting list for social housing has grown by over 2% in the last four months from 135,832 to 139,359, an increase of 3,527.
The housing list in Dublin has grown to an even greater extent, by 2.69% between the end of October 2015 and the end of January.
The 139,359 on waiting lists nationally includes many people who are claiming a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
Speaking to Prime Time, David Hamill from Kells, Co Meath, described how he has been homeless since the beginning of last year:
“Me and my daughter have been homeless since last February, it’s a year now.”
The council are telling me it’s going to be six or seven years before we’re homed.
David, who suffers from chronic lung disease, continues to live locally as his 16-year-old daughter is about to sit her leaving certificate in Kells.
“We’re sleeping on sofas still and that’s not good for my health,” he says.
The situation is that in Kells the rental accommodation, there is none – sorry there was two on it yesterday, one on Daft.ie, and they won’t accept rent allowance.
Ordinarily an assessment of the number of people on housing lists nationally is carried out once every three years, with the last such assessment being carried out by the Department of the Environment in 2013.
The outgoing Fine Gael / Labour government has since committed to tallying such figures annually.
The first such assessment is expected later this year.