New Bill will reduce waiting times for social housing applicants, says Carlow senator

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor

Fianna Fáil Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has introduced a bill to halve waiting times for social housing applicants.

The purpose of the Bill is to set out new statutory deadlines for processing Housing Assistance Payment applications and social housing assessment applications.

The Bill will cut the current social housing assessment times in half by setting a new three-week deadline for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) processing times.

Senator Murnane O’Connor said: "We are in the middle of a nationwide housing crisis. There are over 130,000 people on social housing waiting lists and HAP waiting lists across the country.

"These numbers are growing each year as people in difficult situations struggle to access housing need certainty and security. This Bill is designed to help cut down on processing times and to make sure the system works as efficiently as possible."

"This Bill is designed to help ensure that applications are quickly and efficiently processed but there are wider issues that also need to be addressed to get to grips with the housing crisis.

"Over €400m a year is being spent on HAP. Under Fine Gael we have become far too reliant on the private sector rather than investing in direct building of new homes. 

"Ultimately the government must ramp up supply of social housing by getting local authorities to put bricks and mortar in the ground," added Senator Murnane O’Connor.