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Only 2192 houses added to social housing stock in 2016: Coveney Housing Plan is Failing – Eoin Ó Bróin TD

9 February, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that “the Governments Housing action Plan is failing” after it was revealed that only 2192 real social houses were added to Council and Approved Housing Body stock in 2016. The figures released by the Department of Housing also reveal that 75% of the Governments so called social housing is in fact private housing leased for 2, 4 or 10 years.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Minister Coveney’s Housing Action Plan promises to deliver 47,000 social houses over six years or on average almost 8,000 units a year. His plan builds on similar targets launched by his predecessor Alan Kelly in 2014.

“Figures published by the Department of Housing yesterday reveal that only 2192 real social houses were added to Council and Approved Housing Stock in 2016. Despite all the hype from the Minister his housing plan is clearly failing to deliver.

“There are a significant number of Council housing projects stuck in his Departments cumbersome approval and tendering process. The progress of Rapid Build projects is also similarly delayed. There are also thousands of vacant units available for purchase.

“Unfortunately the Ministers’ plans lack the necessary funding or urgency to even deliver the modest targets he set for himself.

“While I welcome the return of 2,300 long term voids into active use they still only bring the total increase in new social tenancies to 4,492.

“This means that 75% of the Ministers so called ‘social housing solutions’ are in fact private sector units leased for 2 years under the Housing Assistance Scheme, 4 years under the Rental Accommodation or 10 years plus under the Leasing Scheme. The vast majority of these are HAP leases which do not provide families with security of tenure and do not assist in building secure and sustainable communities.

“The Dáil Housing and Homeless Committee report published last June called on Government to increase the stock of housing owned by Councils and Approved Housing Bodies by 10,000 units a year every year. The Government has missed this recommendation by almost 80% last year.

“Without significant improvement in the approval and tendering process for new builds and significant increase in funds for new builds and purchases Minister Coveney’s plan will continue to fail those in greatest need of housing.”

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