Thousands of households in Ireland continue to remain on the housing waiting list, despite a 9.9% decrease from 2019 to 2020. The latest figures released in a report by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage reveal that 61,880 households require social housing support.
The four Dublin authorities, Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council, account for 43.1% of the national total. Single adult households remain the predominant group in need of support.
“A key focus of this Government has been to get local authorities back building. Having visited a number of local authorities over the past eight months, I am acutely aware of the pressures they are under in terms of capacity and resource requirements. My Department is working on an evaluation of existing resources and will develop proposals to strengthen capacity and address resource constraints,” stated Minister O’Brien in a press release addressing the social housing crisis.
The Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) report, released March 2021, is produced by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Housing Agency, the Local Government Management Agency and Local Authorities to capture the total number of households in need of assistance. The report highlights families currently on the waiting list and provides the public with up-to-date figures on the current situation.
The report reveals that single adult households represent the most significant group in need of support, accounting for 52% of the housing waiting list. If combined with households consisting of couples, or a couple with 1-2 children, these smaller sized households make up 86% of the applicants on the list.
Households where the principal applicant is aged between 30 and 39 years account for the largest group in need of support, whilst the number of applicants aged over 70 has increased by 5.2% since 2019.
The main need for social housing support, by 30.3% of applicants, is due to unsuitable accommodation. The second, by 22.7% of applicants, is the need for rent supplement.
Whilst the decrease in households on the waiting list is positive, unaffordable rents and rising house prices continue to be the contributing factors of the substantial waiting list.
The figures in the report do not include households already living in supported accommodation, which demonstrates the extent of the current housing crisis in Ireland.
The map below details the number of households per county that are currently on the waiting list.
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