A report outlining the most up-to-date figures on Ireland’s social housing waiting list crisis is likely to be published in the first half of next year — just in time for the general election.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Alan Kelly confirmed the schedule, ultimately decided by the State’s independent housing agency, amid a growing political row over whether Government is “hiding the true scale” of the scandal.
On Monday, Fianna Fáil environment spokesman, Barry Cowen, claimed the Coalition is under-stating the extent of the social housing crisis by up to 45% by basing its official rates on figures which are two years out of date.
Mr Cowen said Freedom of Information Act records obtained from every local authority in Ireland show 130,008 people are currently waiting on social housing waiting lists, 40,346 people more than the official Government level. He said the rate, which when families are included, means more than 300,000 people could be affected, is being hidden by a government which is instead basing official figures on a report from 2013.
The Government responded by saying the reason the 2013 report by the independent housing agency is being given prominence is because it is a three-yearly definitive outline of the situation, and that Fianna Fáil’s figures may include people on multiple waiting lists and others who have found a home but are still on lists due to administrative errors.