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Data proves it is cheaper for government to build homes rather than buy - Eoin Ó Broin TD

18 November, 2020 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Eoin Ó BroinSinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on figures provided to him by the Department of Housing in response to a parliamentary question which show how much local councils paid in 2018/19 for turnkey houses bought directly from developers for social housing.

Teachta Ó Broin said: “The figures I received from the Department of Housing show that on average, if you look at local authority build, local authority turnkey acquisition and Part V purchases for every local authority, it is more cost effective for councils to build social housing rather than acquire units from private developers.

“Across many councils in 2018 and 2019, it was costing significantly more for councils to acquire turnkey social housing units rather than build units. In some cases, the difference was double.

“Sinn Féin is not opposed to councils acquiring turnkey units, however, we would like to see them used for affordable rental and affordable purchase, particularly for first-time buyers.

“For councils to start delivering more social units, local authorities must be adequately resourced in terms of funding and staffing to deliver the homes that are needed.

“If central government wants to see a real shift to council building of homes, they must also remove the bureaucracy and red tape that slows down and hampers the delivery of bigger developments.

“The four stage approvals process is too cumbersome, as is the Department of Public Expenditure's value for money exercise.

“Councils should be facilitated to go back and do what they did best - delivering social and affordable homes on public land.

"It is the only way to keep the cost of housing affordable and to deliver value for money for the taxpayer."

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