Homeless charity the Simon Community say more and more people are living on the edge of homelessness. Further figures show that 25% of people are worried about being able to afford their own housing costs while over 30% are particularly concerned about increasing rents in the private sector.
Nearly one third of people are worried about the number of people sleeping rough on the street. The figures are released as housing and homelessness continues to be one of the major issues of the election campaign.
“Data from the Private Residential Tenancies Board demonstrates that rents are continuing to rise at a time when the number of properties available is at an all-time low.
“The Simon Communities see the devastating impact of rising rents and reduced housing supply daily – people and families on low incomes and those in receipt of rent supplement can no longer afford rental payments.
“They cannot access the private rented housing market. They don’t have any other housing options. Private rented supply is at the lowest level on record.”
“There are at least 90,000 people on the social housing waiting list and by the end of September 2015, Local Authorities had built just 28 homes. The vast majority of private rented properties on the market – 95%, are beyond the reach of people who are in receipt of state support.”
Ms Randall said people can help to keep the issue high on the political agenda by asking about housing.
“We are hearing lots of election commitments and promises. We are urging people to ask all candidates what they will do to address the housing and homelessness crisis. It is essential that election commitments translate into meaningful action once the new government is in place.
“It is unforgivable that there are local authority houses and state-owned properties lying empty around the country when there are people sleeping on the street or stuck in emergency accommodation.
“The current system is scandalous where housing remains vacant while maintenance work is undertaken, which can take months to complete. Idle homes won’t solve this dilemma.
Cutbacks over the last few years to funding for housing support, for health services, social protection services, education and training services etc., have all contributed to the current crisis.”