Cian O'Callaghan TD

The latest Locked Out of the Market report from the Simon Community is showing the dire consequences of the Government’s overreliance on the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) system, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s spokesperson on housing, said:

“Only 38 homes in the entire country are now falling within the HAP criteria, with not a single home available in Athlone, Cork city centre, Galway city, Limerick city, Sligo town or Portlaoise.

“Fine Gael’s disastrous decision to introduce HAP in 2014 solidified their move from bricks to benefits.

“Instead of building enough desperately needed social housing, the State is now handing over half a billion euro a year to private landlords.

“The 56,848 renters who have managed to find a HAP tenancy still have no long-term security and live in constant fear of eviction.

“This overreliance on HAP is a direct result of this Government’s dismal record of building social homes.

“They have missed their social housing targets by 9,527 homes since taking office while simultaneously leaving hundreds of millions of the social housing budget unspent.

“This is a monumental failure that is resulting in more and more people competing for the handful of HAP properties available in the country.

“We need to get back to basics. What people on the social housing waiting list need is a social home – not endless handouts to private landlords.”

April 15, 2024

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