Housing pushing households into enormous financial burden – Govt must deliver affordable options
Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan expressed her concern at the latest deprivation statistics released by the CSO today.
With two in three households living in enforced deprivation struggling with the heavy burden of housing, Senator Moynihan said social housing supports must be put in place for households that are struggling, including a revision of HAP measures and an increase in income limits.
Senator Moynihan said:
“The government must own up – poverty has gotten far worse in this country, particularly for those in work, and the housing crisis is driving more and more people into financial hardship.
“Indeed, people living in rented homes are three times more likely to be in enforced deprivation than those who own homes. The majority in this situation are trapped in a cycle with home ownership totally out of reach, out of reality.
“Housing is the crisis of a generation but it is particularly biting for those on lower incomes, who are unemployment and those who are experiencing financial hardship. The State should be capable of supporting economically disadvantaged households, however this government continues to drag its heels on progress.
“Despite the revision of HAP limits earlier this year, the new supports are out of line with the extortionate rents currently being charged by landlords. Rents have soared and people are struggling, as borne out in the CSO figures.
“While long term, we need much more social housing built at scale, short term we need to revise the basic HAP limit to reflect the levels renters are being charged. In particular, single people are really struggling to find accommodation which is being reflected every month in our homeless figures.
“It’s also clear that there a number of households on low and middle incomes who may not be receiving supports but are struggling to keep a roof over their head. This weekend, the Taoiseach committed to revising the income limits for social housing. This must be done without delay to address the deep distress many households are facing when it comes to housing.
“Qualifying for housing support is not a panacea with the issues of waiting lists and unavailability of HAP qualifying homes, but it has protected many households from falling into homelessness.”