14 Dec 2018, 10.04

The Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government has published its ‘Report into the Examination of Local Authority Housing Lists.’ 

The report makes 13 recommendations on how the system of waiting lists could be made more transparent and efficient.

“Local authorities are the main providers of social housing for people who have a housing need and there are currently 71,858 qualified households registered for social housing. As a result, housing waiting lists across the country have come under severe pressure,” said Committee Chairperson, Maria Bailey TD.

“The Joint Committee’s report makes 13 practical recommendations, all of which are based on expert testimony which we received during our hearings on the issue of waiting lists. The Committee found that the waiting list system is under significant pressure and is not operating as efficiently as it could be. We are recommending that the definition of homelessness be expanded, which would, in turn, help Local Authorities when dealing with emergency cases. Currently, Local Authorities often respond differently when encountering emergency situations, including when individuals or families present as homeless.”

“The Committee is concerned about the fact that households experiencing home repossession also face barriers when trying to access Local Authority housing lists. There is no mechanism in place to support families who will be in need of social housing supports in the near future, because only after their home is repossessed can they apply for housing supports.”

“The issue of transparency was raised several times by witnesses and by Committee members. There was a general consensus that there is confusion about the eligibility process and application process and also, that are some misconceptions about the social housing sector amongst the general public. Lack of clarity around the allocation scheme and the influence of length of time spent on the housing list, as well as assumptions of political patronage have led to misunderstandings about how the system actually operates.”

“Local Authorities all over Ireland are working hard to provide social and affordable housing units to families, but the reality is that they are operating within a waiting list system that is somewhat inefficient. The Committee has compiled this report in the interest of providing tangible recommendations that would assist in improving both the understanding and crucially, the operation of social housing waiting lists for all citizens in need, or in receipt of, social housing supports.”

Read the report here

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