The latest number of people in Laois who are qualified and waiting for council housing has been confirmed in new figures.
Laois County Council has confirmed that there is now a total of 1,653 names on its list, each one representing an individual, couple or family unable to afford a home.
Most of those people, 981 people, are receiving the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) towards the cost of renting privately while they wait for their own low rent council home.
It effectively means that the taxpayer is paying most of the rent on close to 1,000 privately owned properties in Laois. The average listed rent in Laois is €1,030 a month, and has risen since Covid began. Read those figures here.
Another 672 are social housing applicants.
So far in 2021, 47 people came off the list when they were given the keys to refurbished or new council homes, or homes owned by Approved Housing Bodies. Those homes permanently remain the property of the AHBs, with tenants chosen by the local authority.
Laois County Council has said this month that it expected to deliver 174 new homes under its New Build programme in 2021. Another 382 homes built by AHBs are under discussion.
Meanwhile the council has requested the low income limit to qualify for social housing in Laois to be raised. It currently stands at €25,000 for a couple, and €30,000 for a family with two children. Read more here.