The number of people on social housing waiting lists has increased by 9% to almost 100,000 households in the last year, according to figures obtained by Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin.

Mr Ó Broin has obtained figures from every local authority in the country using the Freedom of Information Act, which show a total of 99,555 households were on housing lists in September 2017.

This marks an increase of almost 8,000 households compared to the 91,600 that were on local authority housing lists in the same month last year.

The Sinn Féin housing spokesperson said that some local authorities have shown an increase on their housing lists, while others have decreased, but overall there has been an increase of 7,955 households waiting on social housing.

He said: "The figures show that a number of local authorities have had significant increases.

"For example in my own constituency, South Dublin County Council has seen an increase to 8,181 households in September 2017 from 5,562 households in September 2016. That is an increase of 32%.

"In the Cork County Council local authority area, the figures have increased from 4,241 in September 2016 to 6,948 a year later. In Offaly, there was an increase of 540 households and in Wicklow there was an increase of 978."

He added: "New housing is now far outstripping new social housing provision. This rise is even more troubling when you consider that this increase has occurred while an additional 18,671 households have signed up to Housing Assistance Payment tenancies during the same period. 

"When a household goes into the Housing Assistance Payment they are removed from their council's waiting list. As HAP tenancies rise, the number on the council waiting lists should fall. Instead, the opposite is happening."

Responding to Mr Ó Broin's figures, a spokesman for the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government said in a statement that: "The Department is currently finalising the 2017 figures and expects to be in a position to publish the data in the coming weeks. However, the provisional figures do indicate a decrease on the 2016 numbers.

"At present the Summary of Social Housing Assessment 2016 figure provides the most accurate and reliable record of the number of households which are currently qualified for social housing support under the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 ("2011 Regulations") and whose housing need is not being met in any way. The data was compiled following a common methodology across 31 local authorities and a subsequent rigorous analysis of the data collected."

"The current figure of 91,600 represents the 'net need' position as at September 21 2016 and was calculated having excluded duplicate applications, households appearing on multiple lists in different authorities (eg households legitimately on more than one Dublin/ Cork/Galway list), households already in receipt of a form of social housing support (such as RAS or HAP), and households which have applied for transfers."

The statement concluded: "Other higher figures that have in the past been published by other sources most likely did not exclude many of these categories i.e. they were not of 'net' need.

"They were essentially a snapshot of 'gross' housing need at a point in time and as such would have methodological weaknesses when compared to the Department's dataset.

"It is those figures that cannot be relied upon and not the results of the Department's summary process."