MORE than 70 social housing applicants, who were removed from the housing waiting list in Cork city, have been added back on to the list after contacting Cork City Council.
They had been removed as part of an annual review of the qualified households on the housing list. All local authorities are required to carry out such reviews annually.
In all, more than 1,200 applicants were removed from Cork City Council’s waiting list after a review. The vast majority of these failed to respond when contacted by the local authority.
A report presented to the members of Cork City Council detailed the review, which took place earlier this year.
It said: “In order to fulfil the requirements of the Summary Social Housing Assessment (SSHA), Cork City Council issued letters and review forms to the households identified as being need of review on April 18, 2018. Applicants were given a deadline of May 18, 2018, to return completed documentation.
“Information messages were placed on the Choice Based Letting website and at the housing counters in City Hall reminding applicants of the importance of submitting the review form, the implications of not returning the form and of the closing date.”
Following from this initial contact, urgent reminder letters were sent to those who did not respond to the initial request.
They were told that failing to respond would result in ‘the closure of their housing application.’
At the end of the review, the city’s waiting list had been cut to 3,118 qualified households, 1,255 (28%) fewer than at the end of the 2017 review a year previously.
In 853 cases, applicants were removed for failing to make contact with Cork City Council.
Some 55 applicants were removed as their income exceeded the nationally-defined income limits, according to the report.
Some 269 applicants had been housed by Cork City Council, with 44 others housed by another local authority or an Approved Housing Body.
The remaining file closures were for ‘a diverse range of reasons’, according to the housing report.
These include applicants moving on from a known address and could not be tracked down or applicants who requested an application to be closed due to changed circumstances.
As of the end of September, 3,872 eligible applicants were on the waiting list in Cork city.