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Almost 100,000 households in need of social housing

The Irish Council for Social Housing says demand has grown by 75 per cent since 2008.

Image: BobbyProm via Creative Commons

THE DEMAND for social housing has risen by 75 per cent over the past three years, according to the Irish Council for Social Housing.

The organisation, which represents over 300 housing associations across the country, blames the sharp increase on the recession as funding has been heavily cut in the past two years. ICSH executive director Donal McManus said that dependency on private landlords has grown as budgets for social housing have been slashed in recent years.

However, he says that housing associations “have the potential to provide new social housing under an innovative mixed-funding model”.

McManus said that there is an urgent need to address this increased demand and how the state can meet that demand in the current economic climate. Close to 100,000 households are currently in need social housing, according to the ICSH.

Of those, over three-quarters have annual incomes of below €15,000 and 67 per cent are unable to meet the cost of accommodation.

Some of the highest increases in demand for social housing were seen in Cork (up 172 per cent in Cork city and 95 per cent in the county), Fingal in Co Dublin (+159 per cent), Meath (+124 per cent) and in Galway city (+101 per cent). Demand rose by 90 per cent in Carlow, 79 per cent in Kerry and was up 88 per cent in South Dublin.

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The organisation is joining NAMA, the Department of the Environment, Communities and Local Government, the OECD and a number of local authorities for a conference on social housing this Wednesday and Thursday in Galway.

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