FOR every applicant being allocated a Council house in Cork city, four more are applying to be added to the housing list.
The latest figures from Cork City Council’s housing directorate for the month of February make for “depressing” reading according to Councillor Thomas Gould (SF) who says the housing list is due to break 4,000 applicants.
“In the first two months of the year, we’ve had 200 families and individuals apply for housing and City Council has allocated just 50," Mr Gould told The Echo.
“It’s a four to one ratio and this highlights that the housing crisis in Cork is not improving.
“There are a lot of houses either in the development, planning or construction stages.
“The problem is that these take years to come to fruition and for people who are waiting for a house today, these figures are depressing and negative.
“In the month of February, there were 76 families in emergency accommodation and this figure is up on the previous three months.
“Last year, the amount of families without a permanent home was averaging in the 50s and 60s, now we are averaging in the high 70s. This shows more and more families are finding themselves becoming homeless,” he added.
Mr Gould believes the council needs to build at least 2,000 homes a year in order to reduce the housing list with average wait times to be housed standing at over seven years and six months.
City Hall director of housing Brian Geaney has strongly defended the local authority’s record on housing delivery by pointing out that the Council has delivered 117% of its build targets under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland initiative.
The Council has been set a target of building 2,200 homes by 2021. Over 450 homes are currently in construction in the city with a further 560 in the planning stages.