Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has expressed concern at the low numbers of social housing units built by local authorities across the country last year, and said the pace of delivery needs to urgently step up a gear.
Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“It is pretty shocking that in the midst of this unprecedented housing crisis just 780 social houses were built by local authorities last year, which falls far below what was pledged by Government in its own housing plan.
“While some are faring better than others, this data shows that some local authorities actually built no social housing at all in 2017, including in areas of high housing demand such as South Dublin and Galway City.
“In other areas such as Cork County or my own constituency of Limerick just four units of social housing were built last year.
“These figures show once again that the pace of delivery of social housing is far too slow, and we need to get to the bottom of why this is the case.
"Our initital analysis shows that more than 1,600 units that were given approval by the end of 2016 are still in pre-construction phases.
“As head of the Department of Housing, the Minister needs to take a hands on approach and deal with the extraordinary delays in the system and insist that the money that has been announced is spent to deliver the homes so urgently needed in the crisis that now exists.
“There are currently nearly 10,000 people homeless in the State and thousands more struggling with high rents, with every aspect of this crisis having a knock-on impact on the other.
“We simply cannot continue to drift along from quarter to quarter in acceptance of these types of low build figures. The urgency of the housing crisis demands immediate action.”