Two-thirds on social housing list wait over two years

The number of households on social housing waiting lists dropped by only 4% last year.

The latest Summary of Social Housing Assessments shows 59,247 households were on waiting lists last year — down from almost 62,000 in 2020.

Since the first annual assessment was conducted in 2016, there has been a 35% reduction in the social housing waiting list.

It is the fifth consecutive year the number on waiting lists has decreased.

Of the country’s 31 local authorities, 25 recorded a drop last year.

The greatest need remains in Dublin, with the county’s four local authorities making up 43% of national demand.

In Cork, local authorities saw an increase of almost 5% (315 houses) compared to the 2020 assessment. The report attributed this to an increase of 315 households in Cork City as the number in Cork County fell by 233 households.

Across the two Cork authorities, there were over 6,700 households on the waiting list — 11.4% of the national total.

Single adults made up the largest grouping, at 55%, up 3% on the previous 12 months.

A third of households are on waiting lists for less than two years.

The Department of Housing says 9,183 social homes were delivered last year — up 17% on 2020. Picture: Sasko Lazarov /
The Department of Housing says 9,183 social homes were delivered last year — up 17% on 2020. Picture: Sasko Lazarov /

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said it was significant that over 23,000 households had their housing needs met last year despite the impact of Covid-19, which halted the majority of residential construction for 13 weeks.

Homes delivered

Meanwhile, the Department says 9,183 social homes were delivered last year – up 17% on 2020.

Of these, 5,202 were new builds, 1,270 were acquisitions and 2,711 were through leasing programmes.

This year, the Government is set to invest over €4bn to deliver 11,820 new social homes, including 9,000 new-build social homes.

Mr O’Brien said in the past 12 months, commencement notices for the construction of 33,006 new homes were received.

“This is the highest rolling 12-month total since data was first published,” he said.

A report for the final quarter of 2021 showed 8,749 social homes were onsite at the end of December, with a further 10,455 homes at various stages of design and procurement.

Mr O’Brien also commented on the current situation in Ukraine, which has seen 14,600 Ukrainian refugees arrive in Ireland since the war began last month — with more than 8,000 seeking accommodation from the State.

“We are watching the situation in Ukraine closely. The Russian invasion is having significant impacts on all sectors of society and as we ramp up all types of housing delivery this year, we will be wary of any impact the war will have,” said Mr O’Brien.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo