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A decade on Galway City’s housing list – and still 71st in queue


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

A decade on Galway City’s housing list – and still 71st in queue

From the Galway City Tribune – Hundreds of people on the city’s housing waiting list have ‘no hope’ of getting a Council house, a local TD has claimed.

Mairéad Farrell, a Sinn Féin TD in Galway West, said her constituency office has been inundated with people who cannot get Council tenancies.

She said one applicant on the City Council’s housing list has been waiting for over a decade – and has 70 people on the list ahead of him.

“The housing situation keeps getting worse. We’re really noticing that in our office. There are just no houses,” said Deputy Farrell.

“I have a constituent, who was over 10 years on the waiting list, and he has 70 people in front of him. How can that even happen?

“You need to be on the housing list 10 or 11 years before you have any hope at this rate. I have people coming to me after five years on the list, and there’s just no chance of them getting one (a Council house),” she said.

The city was worse, but areas of the county such as Connemara, Deputy Farrell said, were getting bad too, due to holiday rentals.

As of June 30 of this year, the City Council’s housing waiting list had a total of 4,321 households. These included single people, couples and families.

Analysis of the figures show that the lists are growing at a pace that is far outstripping the numbers of households being allocated tenancies.

A total of 172 new housing applications were received by City Hall in the second quarter of this year (April, May and June). And some 113 households qualified for housing supports during that period.

But only 18 tenancies were allocated in the three months to June 2022; ten were to local authority homes, seven were approved housing bodies and one was a long-term lease. Six allocations – a third of the total – were to homeless people or families.

The Council’s stats show there’s huge demand for one-bedroom and two-bedroom homes in the west and east of the city from those on the waiting list. Those on the list include households in receipt of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and Long-Term Leasing.

Former city councillor Mark Lohan, a community representative for Sinn Féin in City Central, said the Government’s Housing For All plan, “has not even begun to address the housing disaster”.

“Every Galway citizen deserves to have security of tenure, deserves to be able to rent or buy, depending on their income and deserves to have the opportunity to have a minimum standard of housing that is decent, safe, and secure,” he said.

Mr Lohan said the housing disaster couldn’t be resolved by the current Government.

“We in Sinn Féin have a plan that can begin to turn around the mess that has been created. We must increase the building of all types of homes, both social, affordable, and private market.

“We have rolled out a very feasible plan in the North for 100,000 homes over the next decade. It is a funded and working plan. We can do the same in this part of our country with our already published and costed plan.

“We have shown how reform in the private rental market, coupled with a real build of public housing on public lands can start to turn things around,” added Mr Lohan.

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