Social Housing “time bomb” on the way unless government ups its game

Cork North West TD, Michael Moynihan has said that we are facing a long term, social housing time bomb unless Minister Coveney does more to support local authorities build or purchase new houses.

Deputy Moynihan was commenting after he obtained figures from the Department of Housing that shows that 107 social housing units have been brought into use by Cork City and County Councils between 2011 and 2016.

“Compare this to the last full Fianna Fáil Government, and you will see an administration that is completely at sea when it comes to the delivery of public housing.

“Between 2007 and 2010, Fianna Fáil delivered 1163 social housing units, both new builds and acquisitions, in the city and council.

“People often ask what the difference between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is. Here’s one answer to that question – Fianna Fáil ensures that about people on housing lists, those who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to buy their own home, have a roof over their heads.

“Minister Coveney can promise and plan as much as he likes, but unless local authorities are given the capital budget to build or buy social housing units, and the current budget to employ the engineer and architects needed to deliver projects, thousands of people in Cork will spend years languishing on waiting lists.

“Budget 2017 saw a cut in the funding given to local authorities to employ these important professionals. This hollowing out of our county and city councils has reduced their ability to deliver on much needed capital projects such as social housing developments.

“We need a more urgent response from the Minister and his Department. The housing sector, both private and public, is in disarray. It requires changes to both the funding of local authorities and the planning process to speed up delivery,” concluded Moynihan.