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Coveney Housing Plan ‘Better, but not good enough’ – Ó Broin

19 July, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that Simon Coveney’s Housing Action Plan is “better that his predecessor Alan Kelly’s plan but still not good enough”.

Deputy Ó Broin also expressed “serious concern” that capital spending on social housing for 2017 was set to increase by “only €150m” according to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Minister Coveney’s Housing Action Plan which was launched today is better than his predecessor Alan Kelly, but still not good enough.

“Sinn Féin welcomes the increased investment in social housing. However contrary to Minister Coveney's announcement the real increase in investment in social housing on his predecessor’s plans is less than the €2.2bn claimed by the Minister.

“The real increase is to €1.29bn up to 2020 and €1.54bn up to 2021. This is a crucial difference because these figures will determine the ability of Government, local authorities, and approved housing bodies to deliver the social houses that people need.

“Initial calculations suggest that Minister Coveney’s plans will produce up to 6,000 real social houses a year for six years. This falls far short of the annual target proposed by the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee of 10,000 real social housing units a year which if adopted by Minister over six years would have delivered 60,000 units.

“Minister Coveney is falling short of the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee recommendations by 40%.

“More worrying is the fact that the increase in Capital Spending on Social Housing next year is a mere €150m. Given the relentless rises in the numbers of people in emergency accommodation, living at risk of homelessness and languishing on local authority waiting lists this increase is simply not enough.

“There are welcome initiatives in other areas of the plan, particularly in relation to homeless services, addressing the 189,000 vacant private units and actions for those facing repossession from banks or vulture funds. However these measures are still far too modest. 

“The plan is particularly disappointing on the private rental sector where no specific actions are being proposed. Rather, the plan proposes relegating the issues of long term reform of the private rental sector and issues of security of tenure and standards to some future date.” ENDS

Note: Comparison of funding for Minister Alan Kelly's Social Strategy Housing 2020 and Minister Simon Coveney’s Housing Action Plan

Kelly vs Coveney

*Minister Simon Coveney is claiming that his plan will increase spending on social housing by €2.2bn. This is not the case as he is adding in what would have been the Governments €633m spend in 2021 under the Kelly Plan. The real increase is €1.29bn up to 2020 and €1.54bn up to 2021.

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