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Minister abdicates responsibility for social and affordable homes to the private sector – Ó Broin

27 April, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin has accused Minister Simon Coveney of abdicating his responsibility to provide social and affordable housing by outsourcing 800 publicly owned sites to private developers. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Offering publicly owned land to the private market to develop in order to boost housing supply will result in less social and affordable homes being provided. The Ministers approach will ultimately cost the taxpayer more down the line. Why is the Minister so reluctant to adequately fund the councils to develop these sites themselves?

“Minister Coveney should provide funding to Councils to fully develop their own mixed tenure estates. Allowing Councils to develop mixed tenure estates will create sustainable communities and will see better value for money for the taxpayer.

“Yet again, the Minister has indicated his preference to depend on the private sector to provide solutions to the housing crisis. This is the same private sector which is in part to blame for the housing and homeless crisis. When will the Minister accept that the Councils are best placed to meet the housing needs of those left behind by the market, if adequate funding was in place? 

“Sinn Féin wants mixed tenure estates with social, affordable rental and affordable sale, delivered by the council and fully funded by the State. We have pressed Minister Coveney on this a number of times however it is now abundantly clear that the Minister is opposed to funding this approach.

“In the absence of any other viable options being on the table, Sinn Féin has not opposed the joint venture model despite our view that it is a poor second best option. Our Councillors have fought hard and succeeded to increase the level of social and affordable housing to be provided Ina number of schemes. 

“Sinn Féin won’t stand in the way of any housing development that delivers social and affordable homes for families. However, we firmly believe that Council-led mixed tenure estates would deliver more social and affordable housing, more secure and sustainable communities and at a lower cost to the taxpayer. The Minister should provide funding for such developments in the 800 sites he announced today.” 

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