The number of families and individuals qualified for social housing in Galway City has rocketed by one-third in just three years, an increase that is way above the national average, Galway West TD Noel Grealish has revealed.
Figures supplied by the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in response to Dáil questions from the Independent TD show that Galway City households qualifying for social housing rose from 2,471 in 2013 to 3,322 last year.
“That’s an increase of 851 families in the space of just three years, a clear indication of the spiralling crisis of accommodation facing so many people in Galway now,” said Deputy Grealish.
“It is a rise of 34.4%, which is way above the national average increase of just 1.9% over the same three years.
“Only Dublin City had a greater increase in the number of households qualifying for social housing support during this time — and despite all the concentration on the crisis there at the moment, the percentage increase is much less than in Galway City.
“Interestingly, Cork City Council, in Housing Minister Simon Coveney’s own backyard, saw the number actually fall by a whopping 2,000 in the same period.”
In County Galway, the number of households qualified for social housing remained largely static over the past three years, the total for 2016 of 2,087 representing a reduction of 12.
However, Deputy Grealish pointed out that in both the city and county, the biggest increase in social housing need was among people who had jobs.
“There has been a 45% increase in the number of those in the city qualifying and who are at work, to 670, and a 29% increase in this category in the county area.
“It’s worrying too when you look at the figures and see that urgent housing need is on the increase particularly among the most vulnerable members of our society. The change in just three years is quite shocking.
“In Galway City, the number of those on the waiting list who are homeless has more than trebled to 184, there has been a five-fold increase to 252 of applicants with an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual issue, and the number aged 65-plus has doubled to 51.”
The Independent TD also said that number of applicants in the city living with their parents had more than trebled in the past three years, to 223, while those living in rented accommodation without receiving rental supplement has jumped by almost 550, to 1,340.