Over reliance on private sector continues as key social housing targets are missed - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said the Government's "over reliance on the private sector to meet social housing need continues" and that "key social housing targets were missed in 2019".
The comments were made in response to the release by the Department of Housing of the 2019 social housing output figures.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
"The 2019 social housing output figures were released by the Department of Housing yesterday. They show that there were 5,771 additions to the social housing stock of Councils and approved Housing Bodies through new build, Part V and turnkey acquisitions. A further 2,772 homes were bought by Councils and Housing Bodies.
"Unfortunately, the Government continues to include expensive re-let social homes in their output figures. This is deeply dishonest as these properties were only recently vacated. The Ministers argument that if extra money were not provided these properties would become derelict and thus should be counted as additions to the stock is disingenuous.
"In addition to these real social houses a further 21,926 social housing tenancies were created by leasing privately owned properties, including 1,161 long term leases and 17,993 short term HAP and RAS leases.
"Just 30% of the 28,000 so called social housing tenancies created by the Government last year are real social houses owned by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies. Clearly Rebuilding Ireland's over reliance on the private sector to meet social housing need continues.
"Crucially the number of new build social homes was 12% behind target with just 5,771 of a promised 6,546 social homes delivered. It is also unclear how many of these were delivered directly by Councils and Approved Housing Bodies rather than bought mid construction from the private sector in what are known as turnkey acquisitions.
"Rebuilding Ireland has consistently failed to meet the key demands of the cross party Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness. The 2016 report called for 10,000 real social homes owned by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to be delivered every year for five years to tackle the housing crisis.
"Four years in and Fine Gael are still more than 16% short of this crucial target. This is why housing need continues to rise and the homeless crisis continues to spiral out of control.
"Only a doubling of capital investment in real public housing on public land will start to tackle the housing crisis. This must be at the centre of any new programme for government."
Note to editors: Copies of the 2019 social housing targets and output can be found at the links below.
2019 social housing output: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/details-social-housing-delivery-local-authority-basis-2019
2019 social housing targets: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/local-authority-housing-scheme-statistics