Laois housing list nears 1,800

Boarded up houses at Aghnaharna, Portlaoise.
The homelessness situation and the housing crisis is a “national scandal” with nearly 1,800 alone waiting on Laois County Council to provide them with a home, according to Brian Stanley TD.

The homelessness situation and the housing crisis is a “national scandal” with nearly 1,800 alone waiting on Laois County Council to provide them with a home, according to Brian Stanley TD.

The Laois Offaly TD said the current government’s response to the problem in Laois has been totally inadequate.

“In June there were 620 families in emergency accommodation in Ireland and there are now 1,773 people on the growing housing waiting list in Laois.”

“The current Labour / Fine Gael Government’s response to the problem in Laois has been totally inadequate as only 55 new houses will be built in the entire county over a three year period, to the end of 2017,” he said.

The Sinn Féin TD said the new Housing Assistance Payment Scheme, which has not been introduced in Laois yet, is only a revised version of the Rent Supplement Scheme.

“The new Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) will do little to help in this emergency, and is only a revised model of the Rent Supplement scheme and has still not been introduced in Laois.

“Under the HAP scheme rent will be paid directly to the landlord by the Council and the tenant will pay rent to the local authority. The Rent Supplement scheme will be phased out and, once in the HAP scheme, a tenant will be removed from the housing waiting list.”

In addition Deputy Stanley stated that the rent supplement ceilings in Laois bear no relation to the actual market rental costs and this is also causing many to be made homeless.

He called on the Government to introduce a realistic programe.

“Following almost 10 years of neglect in social housing I am now calling on the Government to implement a realistic investment programme. Their current Housing Strategy is misleading and deceptive and doomed to failure.”