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4 years to deliver 500 homes under Coveney PPP plans – Ó Broin

25 May, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has expressed his concern that it will take up to four years for 500 new homes to be delivered under Minister Simon Coveney’s controversial social housing public-private partnership plans. The dramatic revelation was contained in a letter from the Department of Housing to Deputy Ó Broin this month. PPP aims to eventually deliver 1,500 houses via three tranches. 

Deputy Ó Broin said

“The first stage of government’s social housing PPP programme aims to deliver 500 units over six sites across the greater Dublin area. Minister Coveney announced it to great fanfare earlier this month stating that it demonstrated his commitment to tackling the housing crisis.

“In response to a detailed submission I made to the Department of Housing on the PPP proposals, the Department confirmed that it would take each individual bundle of sites approx. 37-48 months to deliver. That timeline is deeply concerning and yet again raises serious questions about the use of public private partnerships.

“It demonstrates once again, despite all the rhetoric, that neither Minister Coveney nor his cabinet colleagues are serious about delivering social housing in a speedy manner. 

“We know it takes 12 to 18 months for social housing units to be delivered the traditional way, with exchequer funding and led by the local authority. In midst of a severe shortage of all types of housing, I do not think four years is an acceptable length of time to wait for some much needed social housing units.

“When I made the submission, I stated that the use of PPPs delays the delivery of social housing. The 37-48 month timeframe is a best case scenario. In four years’ time, these units may be delivered if there are no delays, disputes, or contractual defaults. 

“Sinn Féin wants to see social homes delivered. However yet again serious questions have been raised about the suitability of PPP contracts to deliver social housing. I would strongly urge the Minister to review the current PPP proposals. It is an over complicated, untested way to deliver homes and is not the right approach. The delivery of the first 500 units should be funded by the State.” 

Note: Please see the Department’s response attached

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