02 Oct 2022

Government claims Laois social housing waiting lists halves

portlaoise housing

Debra Rowan, new tenant and trainee nurse, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr Willie Aird , Chairman of Tuath Housing Daragh O’Sullivan, Laois County Council, CEO, John Mulholland

The number of applicants on the social housing list in Laois has halved since 2016, a Government Minister has claimed.

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D., has today 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.

A statement said there are 608 fewer households on social housing waiting list in Laois compared to first annual assessment conducted in September 2016.

Figures show that the 2021 social housing waiting list for Laois falls 11% on 2020 figures. 

The 2021 Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) shows 590 households in Laois were assessed as being qualified for, and in need of, social housing support as of 17 November 2021. This figure is down 75 (11.2%) from 665 households recorded on 2 November 2020. A statement said this figure also represents a total decrease of 608 (51%) households since 2016 when annual recording of the SSHA began. MORE BELOW TABLE.

Nationally, 59,247 households were assessed as being qualified for social housing support as of 17 November 2021, down 2,633 (4.3%) from 61,880 households on 2 November 2020.   This figure is a reduction of 32,353 (35.3%) since 2016.

The Minister also published the social housing statistics for Quarter 4 2021.  Nationally, a total of 4,010 social homes were delivered in Quarter 4, including 2,053 new build social homes, 810 acquisitions and 1,147 homes delivered through leasing programmes. 

Overall in 2021, a total of 9,183 new social homes were delivered, an increase of 17% on 2020 figures. This total includes 5,202 new build homes (an increase of 2.6% on 2020),   1,270 acquisitions and 2,711 homes delivered through leasing programmes.

The Minister welcomed the publication of the data, noting that for a fifth consecutive year the overall number of households on local authority waiting lists continued to decrease. He also welcomed the fact that 9,183 social housing solutions were found for people despite the significant impact which the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent construction sector shutdowns had on efforts.

Commenting on today’s figures, Minister Noonan said:

“These results are evidence that Government investment in social housing supports is working for Laois. Nationally, over 23,300 households had their housing needs met in 2021 – this is despite the very significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on delivery. It’s important to remember that most residential construction was halted for a 13-week period from January to April. 

“We must not, and will not, lose sight of the fact that there are still 590 households in Laois who are relying on us for the provision of housing support. Housing for All, which was launched six months ago, sets us on a pathway to delivering 90,000 new social homes between now and the end of 2030. This year we will be investing more than €4bn to deliver 11,820 new social homes in 2022, including 9,000 new build social homes. 

“As with all Department’s, we are watching the situation in Ukraine closely. The Russian invasion is having significant impacts on all sectors of society and our goal is to provide shelter and accommodation for those fleeing war while protecting to the greatest extent possible, Housing for All delivery at its existing pace.

“The strong pipeline of home building activity is encouraging. New figures show that in the past twelve months (March 2021 to February 2022), Commencement Notices for the construction of 33,006 new homes were received. This is the highest rolling 12-month total since comparable data was first published.

"Specifically related to social housing, the Construction Status Report for Quarter 4 2021, showed that there were 8,749 social homes onsite at the end of December, with a further 10,455 homes at various stages of design and procurement. Supporting local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to increase housing construction is a priority for my Department,” he said.

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