Government to house thousands of Ukrainians but make it harder for Irish as they're raising eligibility thresholds for social housing

Government to house thousands of Ukrainians but make it harder for Irish as they’re raising eligibility thresholds for social housing

Many more people will be eligible for social housing under government plans to raise eligibility thresholds by €5,000 across the country from next January.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the move this morning, saying the limits for most of the country have not been raised in a decade, except for five counties.

He said this would allow many more people to qualify for social housing eligibility and housing assistance payments.

Opposition parties and housing charities have repeatedly called for an increase in qualified income thresholds.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is expected to make the announcement next week following agreement by the Cabinet Housing subcommittee.

A review of social housing limits was carried out last year which resulted in increases in five local authority areas last month.

As of October 1, the basic limits in Clare, Carlow, Laois, Galway and Westmeath have increased from €25,000 to €30,000.

However, other parts of the country have not seen any increases since 2011.

The 31 municipalities, including the five counties, will see an increase of €5,000 from January 1, 2023.

A broader review of the entire social housing model is also underway and should conclude next year.

The increases since January are considered a stopgap measure.

Martin spoke at a conference of Fianna Fáil councilors this morning, where housing is one of the main areas to be discussed.

He also said that the government will take stock of the cost of living crisis in late spring.

He said the 11 billion euros allocated in the budget will help people get through the winter.

When asked about a report about increased calls for help from the Cork-based charity Penny Dinners, he said the government would support organizations and individuals on the ground.

He also said that increases in social benefits would take effect in January, in addition to the recent one-time payments.

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