Dáil Éireann - Volume 584 - 29 April, 2004
Written Answers - Local Authority Housing.
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
14. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the total number of persons on local authority housing lists at the latest date for which figures are available; the way in which this figure compares with the corresponding figure for the equivalent dates in each of the previous five years; the total number of local authority dwellings completed or acquired in 2002 and 2003, and the anticipated number for 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12196/04]
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
69. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the way in which he proposes to resolve the increasingly serious housing problem, with particular reference to meeting the accommodation needs of the 60,000 families on housing waiting lists in various local authorities throughout the country, some of whom have been  on such lists for ten years or more; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12314/04]
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
Mr. N. Ahern: I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 69 together.
The results of the statutory assessment of local authority housing need, which was undertaken by local authorities in March 2002, indicated that a total of 48,413 households were in need of housing, compared with 39,176 households in March 1999. Detailed information on the results of the 2002 assessment was published in my Department’s September 2002 quarterly edition of the housing statistics bulletin, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library.
Local authorities completed or acquired 5,074 units in 2002, 4,972 units in 2003 and at this stage it is estimated completions or acquisitions will be approximately at the same level in 2004.
Information published as part of the last assessment of local authority housing need undertaken at the end of March 2002 indicates that approximately 60% of households assessed as in need of local authority housing were on the local authority waiting list for less than two years. It is, however, the case that some applicants for local authority housing are on waiting lists for longer periods on the basis that their housing need has a relative lower priority compared with the needs of households that have been allocated housing. The relative priority of households on the local authority waiting lists is determined in accordance with the authorities’ scheme of letting priorities, the making of which is a function reserved to the elected members.
The Government has been conscious of the increased level of social housing need and has responded actively to this situation by expanding social and affordable housing output. It is anticipated, for example, that total social housing output this year, taking account of new local authority housing, vacancies arising in existing houses and output under other social housing measures, will meet the needs of approximately 13,000 households. This compares with 7,000 households in 1993.
Dáil Éireann 584 Written Answers Local Authority Housing.