Over half on housing list are foreign
MORE than half of the applicants for council homes in north Dublin are from abroad, new figures show.
It is the first time that there have been more foreign than Irish people on Fingal's social housing list.
"For the first time, more than half those on the waiting list for social housing in Fingal County Council are non-Irish nationals. A third are from outside the EU," Fine Gael's Kieran Dennison said.
The figures were supplied in response to questions from Cllr Dennison.
Lone parents on the list have risen by 28pc to 3,480, he said. This category of applicant now accounts for 43pc of people waiting for council homes.
The number on Fingal's housing list is 8,144, up 22pc on the 6,691 on the list a year ago.
In response to Mr Dennison's question, the council stated: "There are a total of 4,108 applicants seeking social housing support with Fingal County Council of non-Irish nationality. Of this group, there are currently a total of 2,362 applicants who are of non-EU nationality."
The councillor said Ireland needs immigration and "it is inevitable that some immigrants may fall on hard times and will need support from the State just like the rest of us".
Nevertheless, he criticised the lack of controls over what he termed "welfare tourism".
"The incoming government is really going to have to get a handle on this issue. It causes resentment against those who are genuinely here to make a contribution to our economy and our society," he said.
He added that social housing applicants "are entitled to obtain rent allowance while they wait to be housed".
"In Fingal this can take up to six years or more. Half of all residential rents in Ireland are now paid for by the State," Mr Dennison said.
The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland was not available for comment at the time of writing.