Political parties promise to address the problem of housing waiting lists ahead of the general election.

There are currently 140,000 people on the housing waiting list. Lorraine and Mary are just two of the people on the list but currently living in sub-standard, tenuous accommodation. They are worried for the the future for their families.

While home ownership has increased during the boom, agencies say for many, the problem is getting much worse.

Kieran Stenson of Focus Ireland says that while ownership is up, the Celtic Tiger has neglected a large proportion of people living in poverty and facing being homeless. There are more people on waiting lists, more people sleeping rough, more people paying prohibitively high rents, and more people facing eviction.

The Celtic Tiger has totally missed this population.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the Progressive Democrats all say that they are going to build more social housing while the Green party says it is committed to upgrading existing housing. However, all of the promises are based on a level of economic activity which is speculative.

All of them say they are going to do more to help the homeless yet none of them say they are going to get rid of the social housing list in the short term.

One prediction is that the housing waiting lists and the problem of homelessness will still be with us when next election comes around.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 May 2002. The reporter is Paul Cunningham.