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Carol Nolan TD Describes Offaly Social Housing Provision as 'a complete failure'

14 December, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Rural Development  and Offaly TD Carol Nolan has strongly condemned the Government in it’s failure to deliver a single housing unit in Offaly this year.

The news comes as the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government publishes its Social Housing Construction Stats Report for the third quarter of 2017, it reveals that the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness is failing dismally to achieve its targets nationwide.

Deputy Nolan said;

“While the overall progress of Social Housing supply for the country is low, the situation in Offaly is abysmal. Not a single social housing unit has been completed in Offaly since the commencement of the Rebuilding Ireland Scheme.

"Furthermore, there are only six units currently under construction. This is nothing short of scandalous and demands immediate accountability.

”At the end of September this year the number of households on the Housing List in Offaly stood at 1,582 and this number continues to rise.

“I am deeply concerned about the increasing numbers of people seeking emergency accommodation from Offaly County Council whilst at the same time, there is negligible progress in provision.

"At this moment in time there are 180 units at pre-construction phases in Offaly and only 6 units currently under construction. Even if all of these units were to miraculously materialise in the next six months, they would still only provide housing to 11.8% of the current waiting list.

"This means that with all of the best efforts of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, including Capital Investment and the local response initiatives of many Voluntary housing Associations, the highest outcome we can expect from that collective action is to provide housing for a little more than one in ten households.

"By any standard this is completely unacceptable and can only be seen as a complete failure on behalf of the Government."

While praising the initiative of the Voluntary Housing Bodies, Deputy Nolan stressed that the burden of responsibility for provision did not rest on the shoulders of these charitable bodies.

"Let me be very clear, the statutory responsibility for provision of social housing rests with local authorities, and the responsibility for Capital Investment of Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies rests with Government.

"It is evident that both the current targets and pace of construction are characteristics of a Government solution that is unfit for purpose.

“In light of these grave facts I have conferred with my colleague Eoin Ó Broin TD, who is our spokesperson on Housing, and I will liaise with my fellow TD’s in the other three rural counties that failed to provide a single unit since the commencement of this Scheme.

"We will be demanding accountability from Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and will seek to explore remedies to mitigate tardiness, inflate targets and accelerate funding.”

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