People who have no chance of getting a housing loan from a financial institution due to low income are now also being deprived of the opportunity of getting Council housing and this unjust system must be rectified at an early date.
I have been raising with successive Housing Ministers the urgent need to increase income eligibility limits for local authority housing. Each time in Dáil Éireann when I instance persons on limited incomes being denied the opportunity to apply for Council Housing Ministers agree with me and promise reviews to be finalised without delay.
Unfortunately there is very little follow-up and the Minister’s most recent reply to my Parliamentary Question that he expects the results of this review to be available for publication in late summer 2018 is most disappointing.
Minister Murphy in his reply to my most recent Parliamentary Question stated:-
For Written Answer on : 29/03/2018
Question Number(s): 457 Question Reference(s): 14784/18
Department: Housing, Planning and Local Government
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government when the income eligibility limits for social housing in areas such as counties Cavan and Monaghan will be increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each local authority, in different bands according to the area, with income being defined and assessed according to a standard Household Means Policy.
The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of the income needed to provide for a household’s basic needs, plus a comparative analysis of the local rental cost of housing accommodation across the country. The limits also reflect a blanket increase of €5,000 introduced prior to the new system coming into operation, in order to broaden the base from which social housing tenants are drawn and thereby promote sustainable communities.
As part of the broader social housing reform agenda, a review of income eligibility for social housing supports has commenced and I expect the results of this review to be available for publication in late Summer 2018.