FOR every house Cork City Council allocated over the summer more than four new applicants joined the housing list, new figures have revealed.
The startling figures illustrate a deepening housing crisis and have led to calls for immediate action ahead of a meeting of the City Council Housing Functional Committee this evening.
The latest housing figures show that Cork City Council allocated 75 houses during June, July and August, but 337 new families and individuals joined the list during the same timeframe.
City Councillor Thomas Gould said: “The housing crisis is going to continue to get worse as long as there are more new applicants to the list than houses the Council allocates.
“We have to be looking at big developments across the city - it's the only way.”
“When you think of the money we are spending on this, we should be building social houses and affordable private housing. To be fair to the Council, it is limited by how much funding it gets from central Government. The council also does not have the staff or the resources to carry out major social housing deals,” Cllr Gould said, adding that this is largely due to previous staffing embargos placed on local authorities.
“Those embargos have been lifted by the Government but the problem now is that the Council is allowed to take on staff only if it has the money to do so and the council does not.
“On one hand, you have the Housing Minister and the Department of the Environment saying they are doing everything to handle this housing crisis. Then on the other, the council is not getting the resources they need to tackle it and they have asked the Government for these resources.
“I am calling for major builds for social and affordable houses, as well as some private rental accommodation because some people choose to stay in private rented accommodation and in Cork, a lot of people are finding it impossible to get.”
A spokesperson for Cork City Council said City Hall has secured approximately €25 million to fund necessary infrastructure for the facilitation of housing development.
There are plans for up to 600 units on Old Whitechurch Road and 800 units at two sites in the docklands.