Council faces 40 years to clear its housing list

by Sylvia Pownall

IT WILL take more than 40 years to clear Dublin City Council’s housing waiting list at the current rate of building, a new report has warned.
The study by independent think-tank Tasc predicts that the housing crisis looks set to worsen and urges a radical change in the approach to the crisis by the Government.
Dr Rory Hearne warns of a “potential tsunami of homelessness from mortgage arrears and unaffordable rents in the private sector”.
He said the number of homeless families in Dublin has increased by 289% while almost 10% of households now face mortgage arrears or repossession.
Dr Hearne said the current level of building – with just 40 new social housing units built by local authorities in Dublin last year – is nowhere near sufficient.
Dublin City Council had 18,946 people on its housing waiting list in January this year.
Predicting less than 1,000 new units will be built this year Dr Hearne warned: “It could take over 40 years to provide a permanent home to those on the Dublin City Council housing waiting list.”
The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland strategy unveiled last year stated that 18,000 new social housing ‘solutions’ were provided in 2016.
However Dr Hearne argues there were just 650 new build social housing units nationwide and just 210 of those were built by local authorities.
He said the strategy was worsening the gap between rich and poor because it is allowing a significant number of the houses built to cater for the private sector.
Six ‘trophy’ houses on one Dublin 4 road were sold for between e3 and e4 million each last year, while 35,293 Dublin homes lie vacant and 3,247 people are homeless.
He advocated the setting up of a new Irish Affordable Homes company and a number of measures that would see housing considered a right, not a privilege.

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