Limerick’s housing crisis


by Bernie English housing[email protected]

LIMERICK city and county is in the midst of a social housing crisis with just 180 house allocated this year so far, while there are 4,681 approved families and individuals waiting on the housing list.

Taking a modest average cost of €190,00 per housing unit, that’s a massive €889 million plus would have to be allocated to build enough homes to clear the waiting list.

According to figures contained in the latest report of the city and county manager, which gives figures for March, there were 4,681 applications for social housing approved. These include two-parent families, who are treated as one individual application as well as one-parent families and individuals.

But while thousands have been approved as being in need of social housing, and an unknown number of applications are waiting for approval, just 180 housing units have been allocated so far this year to people on the waiting list.

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The breakdown of applications is 3,705 approved applicants waiting in the Municipal District of the local authority, which covers the city area,. In Adare-Rathkeale, 311 people are waiting for accommodation. In the Cappamore-Kilmallock area 327 applicants are on the waiting list while in Newcastlewest, 338 families and individuals are in need of social housing.

Under the auspices of Clare County Council there are 601 applicants waiting to be housed in the Shannon areas, which takes in Shannon, Meelick, Parteen and Westbury among other areas and 409 in the Killaloe area.

This year so far, 32 applicants were allocated units in the city aea, 16 in Newcastlewest, 16 in Adare-Rathkeal and 26 in Cappamore-Kilmallock, a total of 90 applicants who were accommodated from the housing waiting list for the Limerick City and County Council area.

The authority is currently involved in 1,166 Rental accommodation Schemes, (RAS) 895 of which are contacts with private landlords and 271 with approved housing bodies.

Between January and March 31 there were 56 contracts completed with RAS landlords to facilitate RAS contract renewals or new RAS accommodation.

During that time, staff of the housing department inspected 86 premises for renewal contracts or new properties to ensure the properties were of a standard which meets the criteria for local authority lettings.

Under the RAS scheme, landlords contract for five years to let to approved applicants on the housing list and receive rent directly from the local authority, but remain responsible for the upkeep of their property.

In an alternative scheme which was piloted in Limerick, the housing Assistance Payment Scheme, a total of 410 tenancy agreements have been set up to date, with an average of 16 tendencies a week for 2015.

The scheme deals with loner-term housing needs by signing leases with private landlords.