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Government still can’t count when it comes to Housing - Eoin Ó Broin TD

8 January, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Minister Murphy to abandon its current misleading data source of ESB meter connection data to officially count new homes.

A Goodbody report today indicates that only 8,659 new homes were built during the first 11 months of 2017 compared to the government claim of over 17,000. The Goodbody data is based on BER ratings not ESB meter connections. 

Deputy Ó Broin said: 

“I raised this issue repeatedly during the last Dáil term. The government is using questionable data to deliberately inflate its own housing completion figures. 

"This is both reckless and irresponsible, especially as the Department was made aware of huge discrepancies during Simon Coveney’s tenure as Minister for Housing. 

“Paschal Donohoe’s reported recent claim that 17,000 new homes were built last year mirrors Simon Coveney’s controversial claim in 2016 that house completions had reached 15,000 per year.

“This myth was quickly dispelled by academics and experts who estimated that the real figure was half that. 

“During a meeting of the Housing Committee last March I attempted again to get to the root of why there are so many disparities in the housing completion statistics. I am still no wiser as to how many how many homes were actually completed in 2016. 

“The government is hiding behind “official” figures in an attempt to spin their success and minimise their failures. They have repeatedly been told that ESB meter connection data is no longer a reliable source to measure housing completions. 

"This stance also further damages this government’s credibility on housing. 

“The government wants to build 25,000 new homes every year to 2021. We need to able to accurately measure the progress being made. 

“Minister Murphy's Housing Data Analytics Group is reportedly working with the CSO and other bodies to refine the data use. There must be an urgent re-think of the use of ESB meter data as the primary source for counting new homes.”

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