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Government facilitating developers to bribe their way out of providing social housing - Ó Caoláin

7 March, 2006


Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has accused the Government of facilitating developers in bribing their way out of providing social housing under Part V of the Planning and Development Act. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Caoláin said the Government’s stated plans for Part V when it was introduced in 1999 reads, “like a sick joke” and that, “less than 6% of all housing now being built is local authority housing.”

He said, “The figures released on Monday demonstrate the abject failure of the Government’s social and affordable housing policy. These figures confirm that this Government has facilitated developers to bribe their way out of providing social housing under Part V of the Planning and Development Act. This Act as originally passed required developers to devote 20% of each housing development to social and affordable housing. But, after the friends of Fianna Fáil in the construction industry raised an almighty clamour, the Act was amended to allow them to sidestep this obligation by paying money or land to local authorities.

“We now find that of the 80,000 new homes built last year only 830 were allocated to local authorities under Part V. That’s not much more than 1% - never mind 20%.

“The Taoiseach must now revisit that legislation and reinstate the requirement on developers to provide these homes. He must also implement the Recommendations in the Report of the National Economic and Social Forum and set a target for the provision of homes for the 43,600 households currently on local authority waiting lists.

“When Part V was introduced in 1999 the then Minister for the Environment and Local Government Noel Dempsey said, ‘the plan will lead to an additional 35,000 local authority units, an increase in the voluntary housing sector provision of houses to 4,000 a year and an increase to 2,000 units per year under the current local authority affordable housing and shared ownership schemes.’

“That now reads like a sick joke. Less than 6% of all housing now being built is local authority housing and over 130,000 people are denied decent housing in one of the wealthiest states in Europe.” ENDS

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