Limerick City and County Council does not have a single three-bedroomed house to let out to tenants on its social housing waiting list, it has been claimed.
Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan, a member of the housing committee, believes it is the first time in the local authority’s history this has been the case, and he wants action.
“This means that families cannot be housed. In the first six months of 2015, 63 housing units in the whole of the metropolitan area were allocated.” There are more than 4,000 people across Limerick on the housing waiting list, and Cllr Quinlivan believes many of these people have “little or no chance of getting
“In 2005, the State built 4,209 social provision houses. In 2015 to date, in an escalating housing crisis, it has built only 499 across the entire state,” he said.
Due to people being forced out of their own homes due to mortgage distress, it has forced people to rely on the private sector.
“This has created an even greater demand for housing in the private sector which, in addition to the demand for student accommodation in this university city, has created further pressure on an already crowded market. All of this has exacerbated an already upward pressure on rents.”
Cllr Quinlivan said action is needed from government, “not words and fancy announcements”, making reference to plans by Environment Minister Alan Kelly to increase the number of social houses in Ireland.
A council spokesperson said: “There is currently a high demand for three bedroom houses - particularly in the metropolitan district and limited availability. The current areas of highest demand are Dooradoyle/Raheen, Castletroy/Annacotty and Kileely. Historically much of the older stock in the city are 2 bedroom units and therefore the Local Authority is undertaking an ambitious leasing programme as well as supporting a purchasing programme.” It also asked private landlords to make homes available to council tenants.