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Minister's Housing Targets Over-reliant on Private Sector and destined to fail- Cllr O Broin

2 April, 2015 - by Eoin O'Broin

Sinn Féin Clondalkin Councillor Eoin Ó Broin has criticised the Minister of Environment’s social housing targets announced today as ‘over-reliant on the private sector’ and ‘destined to fail.’

Cllr Ó Broin said:

‘Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has today announced his three year targets for social housing for every local authority in the state.

‘His target for South Dublin County Council is 1445 units to be delivered from 2015 to 2017. He also claims that this will reduce our housing waiting list by 23%.

‘However like so many of Minister Kelly’s high profile announcements the detail is deeply disappointing.

‘What the Minister is actually proposing is not 1445 council houses. Between 900 and 1000 of these units will be private properties leased by the Council or Housing Associations under the Rental Accommodation Scheme and the Long Term Leasing Initiative.

‘The actual number of Council homes will be somewhere between 445 and 545 over three years.

‘Worse still is the fact that the vast majority of these Council units will not be ready for families to move into until 2017.

‘Alan Kelly’s housing targets are over-reliant on the private sector. They will leave thousands of families in short term leases, with no real security of tenure, unable to put down long term roots and at the mercy of the market.

'In addition to this the Minister wants to transfer thousands of rent supplement recipients onto the Housing Assistance Payment leaving even more families in the private rental sector.

‘Given the volatility in the private rental sector and the impending increase in bank repossessions the Ministers targets are destined to fail.

‘It is a matter of deep concern that the Labour Party are continuing with the failed Fianna Fail housing policy of off -loading the responsibility for providing social houses onto the private sector.

‘This approach failed during the boom and it will fail today.

‘What is required is a major investment in direct social housing provision by Local Authorities. Government should be funding Councils to provide up to 7,000 new Council houses every single year for the next decade. This is what happened in the 1970s and there is simply no reason why it could not happen today.’

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