Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the government to urgently increase the income limits for social housing eligibility as the criteria have failed to keep up with cost living increases experienced by many workers and families.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“For a number of years the Department of Housing has been reviewing income thresholds for social housing eligibility. Last set in 2011, they are now too low and long-standing applicants are being removed because of modest income increases, while new applicants just over the income threshold are being refused.
“I and other TDs from across the political divide have been calling for the income limits to be revised upwards for a number of years, and we understood a decision on this was imminent.
“However, information I have received in response to a Parliamentary Question indicates that the government does not intend to raise income thresholds.
“The response from the Minister for Housing states; The current income eligibility requirements generally achieve this, providing for a fair and equitable system of identifying those households facing the greatest challenge in meeting their accommodation needs from their own resources.
“While the Minister for Housing commits to looking at the issue in the context of a wider review of social housing, that is of no use to workers and families losing their place on the housing list after many years or fully excluding others from social housing and social housing supports such as HAP.
“The time for reviewing this issue has long passed. The thresholds must be increased immediately and then pegged to inflation into the future.”