Above: A photograph of some urban dereliction by Paul Reynolds.
Minister Jan O’Sullivan’ Housing Assistance Payment Bill will remove people receiving rent assistance from the housing waiting list.
SF TD Dessie Ellis outlined the implications of removing tens of thousands (many of whom have been on it for over a decade) from the housing list.
‘This means they will find it almost impossible to get a council house, to buy a home or ever be secure in their home.
This condemns tens of thousands to insecure housing and will cost hundreds of millions a year in private rent subsidy.’
The Bill, supported by Labour and Fine Gael gives a typically right-wing solution to a serious housing problem. There are over 100,000 people on the Housing Lists around the country now, approx 40,000 in Dublin, and rather than build a house or appropriate the rotting unfinished hulks of so-called ‘ghost’ houses or estates the government has decided, to borrow the term from The Wire, to ‘juke the stats’.
Those in Rent allowance receipt will be struck off the housing list and the taxpayer will shell out twice for the allowance and loss of income as it passes to private landlords.
Maybe it’s the heat but our cynicism is up to 11 at the moment and we’ve just heard that the government is pushing this through without debate tomorrow.