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Minister’s reliance on private housing for Dublin is fantasy and bound to fail – Ellis

1 May, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has criticised the Minister of Environment’s social housing targets for Dublin City as a fantasy given over reliance on the private sector. He was responding to details figures from the city council which reveal that more than half of the planned housing for Dublin for the next three years are expected to come from the private sector.

Deputy Ellis said:

“Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly announced recently his three year targets for social housing for every local authority in the state.

“His target for Dublin City Council is 3347 units to be delivered from 2015 to 2017. He also claims that this will reduce our housing waiting list significantly, 25% in all across the state.

“However, like much of what this Minister claims the devil is in the detail, or in this case it is the fantasy that the details reveal.

“In an answer to questions by Sinn Fein Cllr Criona Ni Dhalaigh, the City Council revealed that there will not 3347 council houses delivered in this timeframe. 1736 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 1498 over three years. That is less than 50% of the planned housing for the city and represents an average of just 499 council houses each year.

“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 while also sweeping them under the carpet by removing them from waiting lists.

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

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