5th November 2013
There has been an increase of nearly 1000 in applicants on the Cork City Housing list in the last ten months according to Sinn Fein Cllr Mick Nugent. The figures obtained this week show a figure of 7727 eligible applicants on the housing list at the start of October up from a figure of 6793 in January.
Reacting to the figures Cllr Nugent said;
“This growth in the numbers on the housing list is worrying.What is becoming very obvious to us as elected reps is that there needs to be a more strategic and comprehensive plan to deal with what is becoming a crisis in social housing provision.The aftermath of the failed policies of the Celtic Tiger is putting increased pressure on local authorities which can not cope with their current finance allocation.The government have not yet woken up to the fact that housing provision can not be dependent on the private sector alone and investment in social housing is a must.Housing for the people should be a priority for this government, it is a basic right but so far all we have had is rhetoric. As 14.5% of dwellings in the state lie vacant we have housing need doubling in 5 years. NAMA has delivered a tiny fraction of its promised housing and it remains unclear how many housing units the agency will provide to Cork City Council. Rents are up year on year and tenancies are less and less stable, many families live in sub-standard accommodation, this is a crisis which demands immediate attention.”
“While I am aware of the executives efforts to address the issue there needs to be a more government led intervention if we are ever to bring the numbers awaiting housing under control.Financial investment in turning around the housing units in need of repair is urgent.This needs to be complimented with a genuine effort to increase our housing stock over a short number of years to address what is a real need for many families in Cork City and around the country.Earlier this year Sinn Féin put forward a costed plan to begin building 9000 homes over the next two years. The government ignored it, however Sinn Féin both locally & nationally will continue to fight on behalf of those tens of thousands of people on housing lists.”