Laois housing list has risen and demand for emergency accommodation expected to grow

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Laois County Council HQ Portlaoise

There has been a 5.5 percent increase in the number of people on the social housing list in Laois in the last year.

There was 1,606 people on Laois County Council housing list in October 2017. In November 2018, there are 1,695, this is an increase of 89 people which represents a 5.5 percent increase in a year.

Out of the 1,695, there are 742 cases of people (or families) receiving Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) or on the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS). Under both of these schemes, the council subsidises rent to private landlords.

A spokesperson from the council’s housing department has said that the figure of 953 given as the housing list last week and published in the Leinster Express is minus the number of people on HAP and RAS subsidy schemes because ‘their immediate housing need has been met’ and, therefore, they are not included in the total number of people who are on the social housing list in Laois.

However, people on HAP and RAS are also on the housing list and therefore the accurate figure for the housing list in Laois in November 2018 is 1,695.

Laois County Council’s day to day budget for 2019 outlines that €12.3 million will be spent on housing in the county next year.
Included in this is the amount of money that will be spent on homelessness services in the county.

Providing emergency accommodation to people in hotels and B&B’s is budgeted to cost €325,000 next year, an increase from €263,805 in 2018 which outlines the council’s expected increase in the number of cases of homelessness in the county.