9 January 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Cork City Council will tonight debate a motion calling for a 15% increase in the eligibility threshold to qualify for local authority social housing. The motion, proposed by Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan calls on the government to allow those whose gross income is slightly above the current average industrial wage to qualify to go on the social housing waiting lists.
Cllr. Tynan said that under the current regulations people who are on relatively modest incomes are denied the possibility of getting on social housing waiting lists. While they would still have to be assessed on other grounds such as overcrowding, health and familial issues as at present, it would give them the possibility of being housed.
He said, “While the real issue continues to be the lack of availability of public housing, the current income threshold for social housing is overly restrictive. Due to their income many of these families and individuals have no possibility of getting loans from banking institutions and are being shoved into the hands of private sector landlords charging grossly inflated rents and often providing seriously sub-standard accommodation”.
The Workers’ Party said that the current government has set its face against the idea of a major public housing programme and is fixated on housing policies which enrich landlords. Those on modest to middle incomes find themselves in a position where they cannot qualify for social housing and at the same time are refused credit by the banks. Thus they become fodder for the vulture funds and increasingly unscrupulous landlords. While the motion I submitted will not create more social houses, something the government alone can solve, it will hopefully be implemented and will provide a spark of light to those slightly above the existing threshold limits.”, said Cllr. Tynan.