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29 May 2022

Government claim Laois council house waiting list halved is 'massaging the facts'

Public representative calls out claim

The Conniberry social housing estate in Portlaoise during its construction phase

The Conniberry council estate when it was under construction in Portlaoise.

A Laois Sinn Féin representative has dismissed a claim by a Government minister that the housing waiting a list has halved.

Cllr Aidan Mullins insists that the claim that there are 608 fewer households on social housing waiting list in Laois compared to first annual assessment conducted in September 2016 is not factual.

"I want to challenge the figures released by the Government on housing waiting lists and the one in Laois in particular. At last Monday's (Laois County) Council meeting (March 29) the Monthly Management Report clearly stated that there are currently 1,746 people on the Laois Waiting List.

"928 of these are in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) leaving 818 applicants. However, those in receipt of HAP are still on the waiting list and still have a housing need. The Government and the Local Authority would have you believe otherwise but these are the facts. 

"Otherwise why are applicants who are in receipt of HAP being allocated social housing?

"This is a deliberate attempt to massage the waiting list figures," insisted the Portarlington based councillor.

Cllr Mullins was commenting following a statement issued by a Government Department in which the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, welcomed figures published in the 2021 Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) which he says shows a 51% cut in the Laois social housing waiting list since the first annual assessment was conducted in 2016.

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