The Housing Agency has welcomed the publication of the Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) 2020, which has recorded a fall in the number of households in Ireland on a waiting list for social housing.
Prepared by The Housing Agency using local authority data, key findings of the SSHA 2020 include:
- The number of households with an unmet social housing need fell by 10% in 2020, to 61,880.
- 25 of 31 local authorities recorded fewer households on their lists than in 2019. An additional 354 households were identified across the six local authorities where the number with an unmet need for social housing had increased.
- More than four-in-ten households with an unmet social housing need live in the four Dublin local authorities.
- The majority of unmet need is in small households: single adult households account for over half of those with an unmet need for social housing (52%), while nearly a quarter are lone parent households (24%).
- The number of households waiting longer is falling; the share of households waiting for more than four years fell by almost four percentage points (from 48.7% to 44.8%). Conversely, the share of households waiting for fewer than two years increased by 1.6 percentage points (from 33.8% to 35.4%).
Commenting on the publication, Chief Executive Officer of The Housing Agency John O’Connor said: “Since The Housing Agency took on the role of preparing annual summaries of social housing assessments, we have been pleased to see a fall in the number of people with unmet social housing needs in Ireland. This assessment shows that the number of households qualified for social housing support decreased by one-third (29,720 households) compared to the assessment conducted in September 2016.
“While there are welcomed findings, it is important to note that there is more work to be done to meet the housing needs of people in Ireland. For example, single adult and lone parent households continue to make up the vast majority of those on a social housing waiting list. The Housing Agency is committed to work with our partners in central Government, local authorities, approved housing bodies and across the housing sector to see the overall numbers of those on waiting lists continue to fall in coming years.”
About the SSHA 2020
Local authorities have been conducting annualised assessments of social housing need since 2016. The count is carried out under Section 21 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and the Social Housing Assessment (Summary) Regulations 2016.
The Summary of Social Housing Assessment (SSHA) reports the ‘net need’ for social housing i.e. the total number of households who are qualified for social housing but whose social housing needs are not being met. The point-in-time assessment is generally undertaken by local authorities in June; the 2020 count was delayed until November as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Housing Agency supports the process of gathering and analysing the data, and prepares a national summary report which is presented to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.