Social housing figures confirm chronic over-reliance on private sector - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said that today’s social housing output report “confirms the Governments chronic over reliance on the private sector”.
Deputy Ó Broin has also challenged some of the real social housing figures describing them as “not credible”.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Today Eoghan Murphy published his Department's social housing output figures for 2017. They make for stark reading.
“76% of the so called social housing tenancies created in 2017 are actually private homes subsidised by the state through HAP, RAS and long term leasing. The vast majority of these are short term and expensive HAP tenancies.
“This once again confirms the Government's chronic over-reliance on the private sector to meet social housing need. It is deeply dishonest to describe the 19,624 subsidised private rental tenancies as social housing.
“The number of new real social houses owned by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, announced by the Minister today, is just not credible.
"He is claiming that 28% of 6268 real social houses delivered last year are long term vacant Council properties returned to stock. There is growing suspicion that Government is including standard Council re-lets in this category to inflate the figures.
“I have written to Minister Murphy today asking him to publish a full list of these 1757 voids with a time line indicating when they were last tenanted. If he has nothing to hide he should publish this information to ensure full transparency on the issue of vacant Council houses being returned to stock.
“Interestingly the Minister has not stated how many of the 6268 real social houses have actually been tenanted and again there is a concern that properties may be included that are neither fully completed nor tenanted.
“Minister Murphy will claim that real social housing output has increased significantly on 2015 and 2016. However when you are starting from such a low base that is hardly surprising.
"The real issue is that the Government's current targets are also too low. At a time when we need more than 10,000 real social housing units every year to meet existing housing demand, the Government is falling 40% short.
"This is simply not good enough.”