A further increase in income eligibility limits which will see more people across Laois eligible for social housing has been announced.
Social housing income limits will be increased by €5,000 across the country and will take effect from 1 January 2023.
The baseline income threshold for Laois increased from €25,000 to €30,000 on October 1 and that will now increase again to €35,000 from January 1 next year.
So says Minister for State Sean Fleming and Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan.
Minister Fleming said: “I am pleased to see this further increase in the social housing income limits for Laois.
“This change will ensure that the thresholds better reflect housing costs in Laois and allow more people to qualify for social housing and Housing Assistance Payments.
“From 1 January 2023, a single person in County Laois will be eligible for social housing up to an income of €35,000.
“For a family of two adults and two children that family will be eligible for social housing up to an income of €38,000.
“Housing is a vital issue for this Government and I am committed to ensuring affordable housing, private housing and social housing are delivered all across Co. Laois.”
Deputy Flanagan added: ““I welcome the announcement by An Taoiseach on Saturday last that Government is set to increase all social housing income limits by €5,000 across all three bands on an interim basis from 1st January next.
“I am very pleased that Government has agreed, to my Fine Gael colleague’s proposal, for a minimum €5,000 uplift for all social housing income limits to be introduced. This will make more people eligible for Social Housing and HAP (Housing Assistance Payment).
“The previous increase in general social housing income limits was April 2011 (when average earnings per employee were €35,915 according to the CSO). However, average annual earnings are now approximately €45,324, which is over a 20% increase since 2011.
“The recently published ‘Review of Income Eligibility for Social Housing Support’ report under the Housing for All document, which was supported by the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and councillors nationwide, according to this review, the current three band structure for social housing income limits is no longer internally logical given the increase in rents over time.
“I acknowledge that the Minister for Housing recently approved proposals to develop options for a revised or new social housing income eligibility model, which is proceeding under the auspices of the Housing Agency.
“Government is focused on achieving targets set out under Housing For All, which commits to delivering of 47,600 new build social homes from 2022-2026, with funding in place this year to deliver 11,800 social homes, including 9,000 new build homes.
“However, it is necessary for us to redouble our efforts in accelerating the delivery of housing supply, particularly given the current additional pressures on the sector.
“I strongly believe this interim increase of €5,000 to all social housing income limits, will make a real positive difference to people lives, making more individuals and families eligible for social housing schemes which is vital to keep pace with our evolving housing needs here in Laois.”