Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government doesn’t know how many houses it owns – Ó Broin

17 January, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the government for failing to keep track of the number of real social homes owned by local authorities and approved housing bodies (AHBs).

Responding to the lack of information received in response to a parliamentary question, Deputy Ó Broin said:

“I asked Minister Eoghan Murphy a very simple question. How many real social homes were owned by local authorities and AHBs each year from 2010 to 2017?

“All the information requested was not available. It is deeply shocking that the government doesn’t know how many real social housing units it has in 2016 and 2017, especially as it was claiming earlier this week that it hit 92% of its target for the delivery of local authority and AHB new builds in 2017. 

“If the government is planning to meet the social housing needs of those on housing waiting lists by 2021, surely it must know how many units are currently in stock and whether the number of units is increasing.  

“If we want to ensure that the housing needs of the 99,000 households on the waiting lists are really being met, the Department of Housing must publish on a yearly basis the total stock of real social housing owned by councils and approved housing bodies so we can measure whether progress is actually being made.

“The PQ response from the Minister was extremely disappointing. Unfortunately, this government is now developing a reputation for either not having up to date figures or using dodgy data to hide their policy delivery short-comings. This has to end.” 

Note: Please see PQ response below

For Written Answer on : 16/01/2018
Question Number(s): 1722 Question Reference(s): 54642/17
Department: Housing, Planning and Local Government


To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the stock of social housing in each of the years 2010 to 2017, by local authority; and the stock owned by local authorities and approved housing bodies respectively, in tabular form.


Statistics in relation to the social housing stock of local authorities are gathered by the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), in their annual reports on Performance Indicators in Local Authorities. These reports provide a range of information in relation to social housing stock, including the total number of dwellings in each local authority area. 

The most recent NOAC report covers the 2015 period and is available at the following link: Prior to NOAC's work in this area, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) published Performance Indicator Reports from 2004 to 2014, which are available on their website at the following link:

My Department does not record details of the number of houses owned by approved housing bodies.  However, details on the number of accommodation units delivered by approved housing bodies under my Department's Capital Assistance Scheme, Capital Advance Leasing Facility and the Capital Loan and Subsidy Scheme since 2010 are available on my Department's website at the following link:

Connect with Sinn Féin