Cllr. Shane Lee highlights local housing issues to Minister
"There is a major lack of housing in my area, with a waiting list in excess of 200 in my home town of Roscrea alone," - Cllr Lee
Independent Cllr. Shane Lee has contacted the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, to highlight the accommodation issues being faced by people in the Templemore/ Roscrea Local Electoral Area.
The Independent Councillor says that, in Tipperary as a whole, the income cap to qualify for Social Housing is €25,000 as opposed to €30,000 in neighbouring counties. ‘I understand from speaking with Council Management that this had been in place for 10 years, since around 2011. A significant number of people are unable to get on the Social Housing list as a result of this lower threshold and I have asked the Minister to review this as a matter of urgency’
‘Many young couples who are paying high rents are above the income limit for Social Housing. Yet they cannot afford to save or do not earn enough to qualify for a mortgage. ‘I feel genuinely sorry for these families. Government needs to understand and acknowledge the daily challenges they face’ he says.
Cllr Shane Lee
‘Likewise, in cases where families have gone through separation, many do not qualify for Social Housing as their income is above the limit. They also face the additional hurdle of not being classed as first time buyers under Rebuilding Ireland. I have had people ask me if it would be better to give up part-time jobs in order to make them eligible for Social Housing. Surely this is not the message the Government wishes to send out to people?
‘In relation to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), I have spoken with families who have been left with no option but to take on high-rent accommodation due to the current rental market cost and availability. HAP limits are insufficient at meeting these market rents, making it very difficult for low-income households to maintain the cost of private-rented accommodation. In some cases they could find themselves being required to pay upwards of €750 to €800 monthly. Inevitably, many are ultimately unable to meet this financial demand and this can result homelessness or being forced to move into overcrowded accommodation.
‘There is a major lack of housing in my area, with a waiting list in excess of 200 in my home town of Roscrea alone. In our district there are more 900 families in need of housing, which does not include those availing of HAP. This provides an incentive for landlords to charge excessive amounts for rented accommodation’ concluded Cllr. Lee.
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