Thursday, September 22, 2022

By Keith Bourke

The Government has been accused of ‘abandoning’ Mayo families after the county was excluded from a plan that will see five local authorities granted an increase in the thresholds for social housing income limits.

“Excluding Mayo and many other counties from expanding social housing eligibility is just not good enough,” said Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway Walsh.

“The Government is effectively abandoning families on modest incomes. The income thresholds for social housing means that a couple with two children earning €27,500 a year are not eligible for support. This means that a couple who are paid the minimum wage will far exceed the income threshold for social housing.”

It had been hoped that the threshold increase would extend to every county but only counties Clare, Carlow, Laois, Galway and Westmeath will see changes.

“I am dealing with a family with four small children, one of whom has special needs,” said Deputy Conway Walsh. “They are renting in the private sector and received an eviction notice for early October. They went immediately to the council to apply for social housing. The dad is working full-time on a low salary and the family is in receipt of Working Family Payment.

“The dad’s salary is deemed too low for them to live on, but the additional Working Family Payment means they are earning over the income threshold for social housing.

“Now they are in a Catch-22 situation, another working family who will be homeless in four week’s time,” the Sinn Féin TD warned.

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