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Housing Agency reveals government inadequacy in social housing – Doolan

29 July, 2015 - by Daithí Doolan

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.” 

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