Government social and affordable housing delivery way off target - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, to be honest with people on his social and affordable housing programmes.
The Dublin Mid-West TD’s comments were made as new information released to him in response to a Parliamentary Question shows that the government’s social housing programme had met just 7 percent of its target at the end of Q1 this year.
Additional figures released today show that at the end of Q2, it had met just 17 percent of its cost rental target and 7 percent of its affordable purchase target.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and Taoiseach Micheál Martin repeatedly claim that the government will deliver 9,000 new-build social homes this year. They have also promised to deliver up to 1200 affordable homes to rent and buy by December.
“Figures released to me in response to a Parliamentary Question show that the government met just 7 percent of their social housing target by the end of Q1 this year. The total number of new social homes delivered by the end of March was just 639.
“Output at the same time last year was at a similar level and, by year's end, government had missed their overall target by 30%.
“Darragh O’Brien blamed the Covid-19 construction sector shutdown for last year's missed targets. This is not an excuse he can use this year.
“Progress on the delivery of affordable homes is also way behind target.
“On page 3 of their Q2 Progress Report released today, they detail the delivery of just 119 cost rental and 38 affordable purchase homes.
“The targets for these schemes in 2022 are 700 and 500 respectively. That means that as of the end of June, they have hit just 17 percent of their cost rental target and 8 percent of their affordable purchase target.
“It is also concerning that the small number of affordable purchase homes delivered to date have not yet been sold.
“They are tangled up in a bureaucratic row between the pillar banks and the Department of Housing over contracts. Meanwhile, completed homes are left empty and prospective buyers are left frustrated.
“Darragh O’Brien needs to be honest on his social and affordable housing programmes.
“He needs to come clean and tell us what the expected level of delivery this year will be.
“He needs to accept that his failure to deliver social and affordable housing at scale is the single biggest driver of the housing and homelessness crisis.
“He also needs to outline what emergency measures he and his government colleagues intend to take in the days and weeks ahead to tackle the deepening homeless crisis and the emergency accommodation needs of Ukrainian refugees.
“If the Minister spent as much time focusing on the delivery of social and affordable homes as he does churning out glossy ‘progress reports’ we would not be seeing the rising levels of homelessness or the ever-growing demand for affordable housing to rent and buy.”