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Fingal County Council failure to directly build any social homes in 2021 “shocking” - Louise O’Reilly TD

29 April, 2022 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin TD for Fingal, Louise O’Reilly, has said that the failure of Fingal County Council to directly build any social homes in 2021 was “shocking”, and the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, has serious questions to answer.

Teachata O’Reilly said:

“Yesterday at a housing webinar organised by homeless charity the Simon Community, experts produced figures from the Department of Housing, which showed that Fingal County Council built no social homes last year.

“Anyone who lives in Fingal knows the length of social housing waiting lists in the area which are on average over eight years, and the desperate need that exists for people to be housed.

“This is a shocking state of affairs as not only does Fingal have some of the longest housing waiting lists in the state, but it also has the fastest growing population.

“It is the failure of local authorities to directly build homes at scale which is contributing to extraordinarily high waiting lists across the State.

“I know from speaking with officials in county councils that they want to build homes, but they face significant obstacles from the Department of Housing, including the failure of Minister O’Brien to adequately support this ambition.

“The overreliance by councils and the government on the private sector to house people through mechanisms such as long-term private leases and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) does not make economic sense in the first instance, it is not permanent housing, and the pool of affordable homes available on the private rented market are getting smaller and smaller.

“It is rare that government policy can fail absolutely everyone – it is failing those on social housing waiting lists on one hand, and it is failing renters and buyers on the other. Minister O’Brien has serious questions to answer in relation to this situation.”

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