– Review must be published without delay –
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has hit out at the Housing Minister for continuing to delay the publication of a review of social housing eligibility limits. He claims that low income families are trapped because they cannot get mortgage approval from lenders but are also failing to qualify for social housing.
Deputy Smith commented, “I have been contacted by people across Cavan and Monaghan who want to exit the rental market and secure a long term home. However, they are falling between two stools – they are being refused mortgage approval by commercial lenders because of their low income, but they are earning too much to qualify for social housing. This is deeply unfair.
“Fine Gael committed to a review of social housing eligibility back in 2016. Two years have passed and it has still not been published. In his latest reply to me Minister Eoghan Murphy says “a review of income eligibility for social housing supports is underway”. That review has been underway since last year and was due to be published this summer. That deadline has now passed and there is no sign of the report.
“The delay in this review is completely unacceptable – with every month that goes by, families and people on low incomes are being deprived of the opportunity to buy their own home.
“The changes made to social housing eligibility criteria in recent years make it extremely difficult for people on low incomes to qualify – these limits need to be reassessed.
“I am very disappointed by Minister Murphy’s latest reply, which contains absolutely no new information. He appears to be failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation for hundreds of families across Cavan and Monaghan. I am urging him to publish this review without delay and to ensure that the income limits for social housing are raised to more realistic levels”.