Department red tape slowing down social housing delivery – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that “Department of Housing red tape is slowing down social housing delivery and this is one of the main reasons why so few new units are being built”.
The Dublin Mid-West TD has called on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to urgently revise the current 4 stage social housing approval process which delays the delivery of social houses by 18 to 24 months.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“All social housing projects across the State must go through a four stage approval, tendering and procurement process between the Local Authority and the Department of Housing. This cumbersome process can take 18 to 24 months from conception to construction commencement and is holding up the delivery of homes. A number of social housing projects currently underway have been ‘in the pipeline’ for three years.
“There has been attempts made to address this problem and Department of Housing has started to send teams into Local Authorities in an attempt to speed up this slow approvals process. However there is no evidence to suggest that this is working and unfortunately some believe that it is making things worse.
“Minister Murphy needs to accept that this approach isn’t working. According to the Social Housing Construction Projects Progress Report for quarter one of 2017, of the 607 social housing developments planned, only 130 of these are on site. The majority of the projects are stuck in Department of Housing bureaucracy and therefore won’t be delivered for at least 18 months.
“Late last year, I published a document as to how the approvals process for social housing could be speeded up. This would consist of a one stage approval process instead of the current four stage process.
“Minister Simon Coveney rushed through legislation last year to allow for the fast tracking of large private sector housing developments. Despite repeated calls to bring the same urgency to social housing delivery, Minister Coveney refused to act.
“I am calling on the new Minister, as a matter of urgency, to replace the four stage approval process with a single stage process that ensures construction commences no later than 6 months after Part 8 planning has been approved. This is one of the single most important things he can do to speed up the delivery of social housing.”