Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan has
said that the report released by the Housing Agency today further highlights
the need for major investment in the building, purchasing and renovation of
social housing. He also noted that the report showed that there was sufficient
land available for development to meet demand.
Cllr. Doolan, Chair of the Dublin City Council’s
Housing SPC, said:
“I welcome the release of this report, the Housing Agency's ‘National
Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014 and Outlook for 2015-17’. It is a
good initiative for the Housing Agency to take and will add to our
understanding of housing need in the state. It will strengthen our demand
for social and affordable housing.
“The report clearly shows that there is a very serious need
to increase investment in social housing and the time for that investment is
now. This need is underlined by the report’s conclusion that the construction
of housing is relatively affordable at this time and there is sufficient land
available for development.
“Dublin City Council in particular has sufficient land at
present to provide thousands of homes while there is space for a total over
400,000 on currently zoned land throughout the state. Trends show that cost
will likely only increase so swift action to provide housing is needed.
“The report lays out clearly the very high demand for
housing at all levels from low to middle income families. This demand is not
being met currently, so rents have risen beyond the reach of many workers and
well over 100,000 people are on housing waiting lists across the state, while 1,000
children sleep in emergency accommodation each night. The report also finds
this demand shows no signs of decreasing and so housing must be provided as a
matter of priority.
“It is important that we take the time to review our housing
system, to determine demand and to help us to plan for the future but this
information cannot be allowed to simply gather dust. It is the responsibility
for the government to act now on the clear conclusions to be drawn from this
document. That is that we need to immediately begin large scale social housing
investment to build, buy and renovate thousands of homes each year.
“Current government targets are hopelessly inadequate with
plans to only build 167 homes by the end of 2017.
“The government must step up annual capital
funding and front the money laid out for its housing strategy which concludes
in 2020. They must also look to make an immediate investment of 1 billion euro
from the Strategic Investment Fund.”