Offaly TD slams idea of semi-state social housing body
Carol Nolan, Sinn Féin TD for Offaly/North Tipperary, has said that a “housing delivery semi-state is not a good idea.”
The comments were made following media speculation that Minister Eoghan Murphy’s review of the Government's Housing Action Plan would propose a new state agency to oversee the building of social housing.
Deputy Nolan said:
“There have been media reports that the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is actively considering creating a new semi-state agency to oversee the delivery of social housing. I doubt the Minister would be foolish enough to support such a proposal."
“We already have an infrastructure for delivering social and affordable housing; it’s called Local Councils. The problem is that they have been starved of capital investment and staff," Nolan continued.
"They also have to comply with an overly bureaucratic approval process for social housing delivery which can take up to 24 months before a single brick is laid on any given project. In light of the fact that we currently have a serious housing crisis and the fact that we have over 2,500 people on the housing list in Offaly/ North Tipperary, with many people facing the repossession of their homes, urgent action and commitment is required."
"Wasting time to ponder foolish and empty proposals that will not deliver social housing in a timely fashion is not helpful or constructive and is an insult to the families and children in Offaly/North Tipperary and throughout the country who find themselves in emergency accommodation," Carol said.
She pointed out that setting up a new state agency would take at least a year and "would face the same funding and bureaucracy issues that are currently holding Councils back."
"What Minister Murphy needs to do is increase the targets for social housing deliver to 10,000 real social houses a year. This needs to be backed up by real investment in social housing in Budget. And then the Minister must move swiftly to cut the red tape in social housing approval down to six months to ensure the houses are delivered," Nolan concluded.
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