– Govt needs to urgently publish review –
social housing income eligibility ereply 7th Sept 2018
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has criticised the Minister for Housing for further delays in the publication of a review of social housing eligibility. The Minister and his predecessor Simon Coveney T.D. committed to a review in Dáil replies to Deputy Brendan Smith since 2016 and still the review has still not been published.
Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “There are hundreds of people across Cavan and Monaghan who are on low incomes and are being refused mortgage approval from the banks. Unfortunately they are also failing to qualify for social housing because their incomes are deemed too high. In many instances these people are on low incomes and are dependent on the family income supplement from the Department of Social Protection. If the current rates remain, these people will be caught and will never be able to own their own homes.
“Over the past number of years, the eligibility criteria for social housing have become unrealistic. These need to be urgently examined and I raised the issue with Minister Eoghan Murphy last year. At that stage he committed to complete a review of the income eligibility limits for social housing supports. Subsequently last July I was told by the Minister that the results of the review would be available for publication later in the summer. I had hoped that a report would have been made available by now, but last week I am informed that the work is now almost complete. We are still waiting and more and more people are failing to qualify for Council homes.
“I believe this review should be published as a matter of urgency and the income limits raised to a realistic level. Unless action is taken, we are condemning people to the rental market for life and people being deprived of owning their own homes. This is deeply unfair and must be addressed”.