A motion calling on the Housing Minister to increase the income limit for access to social housing was passed at the January county council meeting. The motion, which was proposed by People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson, was passed unanimously following an amendment. The original motion called for the income limit to be completely removed to allow everyone to apply for public housing, and so provide more of a social mix in public housing. An amendment to change the motion to call for an increase in the limit, rather than removing it, was proposed by Sinn Fein. A letter will now be issued to the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien informing him of the motion.
Cllr Madeleine Johansson commented: “I’m delighted that the motion was passed to call on a change to income limits for social housing. The current limits have not been changed since 2011 and are not reflective of the extraordinarily high costs of private rent in Dublin. “Most other European countries have no income limits for access to public (council) housing. This means that anyone who wants to is entitled to apply for public housing creating sustainable mixed income communities with no stigma attached to public housing. “I was recently contacted by a family who had been on the housing list for 12 years but were removed from the list due to their income being over the limit. The family can’t afford to pay private rents in Dublin and has no prospect of qualifying for a mortgage. It’s outrageous that working people who are doing their best to provide for their family are not entitled to secure housing.”
People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid West Gino Kenny added: “The government needs to urgently change its housing policy. We need a large scale public housing construction programme that caters for everyone who is in need of housing. The creation of cost rental or affordable rental schemes is not a solution to the current crisis and further complicates the access to secure housing for working people. Instead we need a single tier public housing programme accessible to all.”