An ‘explosion’ in the social housing waiting list figures for Longford and Roscommon is indicative of the Government’s attitude towards rural Ireland, according to Longford-Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy.
Longford’s waiting list has seen a 105.36% increase since 2013, jumping from 597 to 1,226, with only two properties (including new builds) acquired by the Local Authority since 2012.
Meanwhile, the Roscommon list has increased by 157.14% over the same period of time, with just one extra property acquired since 2012.
“It’s a poor reflection on the Government parties who represent this constituency,” said Deputy Troy.
The Westmeath-based TD also hit out at the Government for using the 2013 waiting list figures in compiling the Social Housing 2020 strategy.
“We have a Government that are formulating plans based on old figures; based on figures that are irrelevant and out of date,” he continued.
Adding that the Government have not focused on social housing, he stated, “It’s no longer just an issue, it’s a full-scale national crisis”, before adding that he was inundated by calls from Longford people who were affected by the housing shortage and the extensive waiting list.
When asked why he believed Longford had seen such a huge increase in the waiting list, he replied: “Longford has been very adversely affected by the downturn.
“There hasn’t been huge job creation and the IDA hasn’t visited once.”
While there is no immediate solution, Fianna Fáil have outlined their ideas for tackling the housing crisis on a short-term and long-term basis in two documents, entitled ‘Supporting Home Ownership; A National Housing Roadmap’ and ‘Generation Rent: A New Deal for Renters and Landlords’.
In the former, Fianna Fáil outline their suggested plans to build 45,000 new social housing homes, which includes a new €4.5 billion social housing building programme; Part V teams in Local Authorities and a vacant/derelict houses refurbishment scheme.