Cork Housing Crisis – Getting Worse, Not Better.

Right2Housng Protest at the Elysian , Cork
Right2Housng Protest at the Elysian , Cork

Cork City and County still suffering from government indifference to the critical situations of housing, homelessness, and precarious tenancies.

The Housing Crisis in Ireland has spiraled to new heights and this government refuses to take any significant measures to address it.

The profit before people theme running through all their policies continues to hammer ordinary people.

Meanwhile the Fine Gael and Labour ministers and their sheep-like TDs and councillors nodding in the background trumpet “recovery” for the already well-off.

The housing price bubble is in the ascendant again. Even people in employment are hard pressed to deal with rising rents, repossessions and exploitation by greedy landlords and their political accomplices.

Jim O'Connell, PBP Cork speaking at House the Homeless Rally in Cork
Jim O’Connell, PBP Cork speaking at House the Homeless Rally in Cork

As of October 2015, the number of people sleeping rough in Cork city has increased 25% on 2014. If we account for people who have been made homeless and forced to sleep with friends or in emergency accommodation, the increase is 40% with figures continuing to rise as we enter Winter 2015.

Waiting Lists:
In Cork city alone there are around 8,000 people waiting an average of 5 years for social housing. 60% of the list is made up of single people – the lowest priority for housing in the state. Their chance of being housed quickly and efficiently? Virtually nil.

Tenants with a disability living in social housing and needing a bathroom adaptation, a lift, or a ramp so they can leave their homes, will wait up to 10 years for the work to be carried out. The failure to do these works means tenants are being forced to give up their homes and move to HSE residential units – a far more expensive option than just carrying out the work needed.

Private Renting:
The crisis extends to the private sector too. 1 in 3 houses in Cork are rented from a private landlord, yet rent jumps mean people are forced on to the housing lists as they can’t afford to pay unfair increases. The lack of rent control – a simple and effective solution used widely across Europe – means rents in Cork jumped almost 7.5% from the end of 2013 to the end of 2014. This despite stagnating and decreasing private income levels. How is this fair?

Rent Allowance:
The average rent for a 3 bed semi-detached house in Cork city and suburbs is currently €1,000. Yet the max limit for claiming rent allowance for a family with 2 kids is €725. Does this make sense? Should 4 people squeeze into 1 bedroom? Because this is all €725 is likely to get you in the same area.

Enough is enough:
We need more social housing. We need better quality social housing. We need immediate responses to adaptations and repairs. We need rent control. We need to say no to privatisation. We need change. #Right2Housing4All

Housing Protest Clonakilty
Housing Protest Clonakilty

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