Local Elections

More social housing needed in Leitrim

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

More social housing needed in Leitrim

Independent Local Elections Candidate Jamie Murphy

Welcoming the news that Leitrim County Council has issued tenders to develop social housing  for Manorhamilton, Dromahair, Tullaghan and Kinlough Independent election candidate Jamie Murphy from Manorhamilton is calling on the government to move away from a reliance on the private market and drastically increase state building of public housing to alleviate the accommodation crisis.

There are currently over 300 households on the Leitrim County Council housing waiting list. Murphy said: “We cannot continue to depend upon private landlords to meet accommodation needs of families eligible for social housing. In 2018 according to government figures there were 4,000 new builds compared to 18,000 households accommodated under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). There is no long term security for families under HAP and Minister Murphy himself has admitted he is powerless to stop landlords evicting families when selling their property. It makes no financial sense to accommodate people under HAP.

"The government's own figures projected that over the next five years they would spend up to 3 billion on HAP and the Rental Assistance Scheme which is 500 million per year. This is a gross waste of public money and does nothing to solve long term accommodation needs of households. This news today from Leitrim County Council is welcome but we need to see more of it.”