SOCIAL housing lists in Donegal have soared by 48 per cent in the past two years and is now an emergency situation, it has been claimed.
New figures obtained by Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue have revealed a shocking surge in social housing waiting lists in Donegal over the past two years.
The information supplied to Fianna Fáil through Freedom of Information, shows that social housing waiting lists at Donegal County Council are actually 48% higher than the Government has led us to believe.
Official figures from the Department of the Environment and Local Government show that there are 1,675 applicants for social housing at Donegal County Council. However this latest information reveals that the true figure is 2,472 applicants.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “These new figures reveal the true extent of the housing crisis in Donegal. The Government has been using outdated figures at a national level to mask the true extent of the crisis, but the cat is out of the bag now.
“All official figures quoted by the Government on social housing waiting lists are from 2013, and are therefore two years old. The documents received by Fianna Fáil show that Donegal County Council has seen a massive increase in demand for social housing. However bad we thought the housing crisis in Donegal was, it is actually immeasurably worse. There are now 2,472 applicants on the social housing waiting list in Donegal. Nationally, the figure is 130,000 – much higher than the 90,000 figure that the government has been using to date.
“The increase in Donegal over the past two years is higher than the national average increase. Behind all of these numbers are countless extremely upsetting cases of families who have no place to call home. I am inundated on a weekly basis with families contacting me who are desperate for help to find a home. Many are stuck in totally inappropriate emergency accommodation, packed into hotel rooms with young children and no idea where they will go next.
“The extent of the problem must be obvious to any public representative here in Donegal. The housing emergency has exploded out of control. By downplaying the extent of the crisis, the Government is doing a gross disservice to the public and to the many charities that are working on the ground. I am calling on the Government TDs here in Donegal to stop hiding on this issue. Wake up, stop the spin, put an end to the empty PR announcements and start taking real action to tackle this emergency.”