28 May 2022

Cowen: Government's Rebuilding Ireland plan is 6,000 homes behind schedule

A 640% increase needed to meet 2018 target

Cowen: Government's Rebuilding Ireland plan is 6,000 homes behind schedule

Cowen: Government's Rebuilding Ireland plan is 6,000 homes behind schedule

Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD says figures he has revealed show that the state is 6,000 homes behind its Rebuilding Ireland social housing targets. The figures are drawn from parliamentary questions.

"In 2016 the Government failed to meet its own target of 2,260 as it delivered just 1,730 new homes. The Government delivered just 743 homes in the first nine months of 2017, which are the latest available figures. This falls well below the 2017 target of 3,200," Cowen remarked. 

"The deficit increases to 6,000 units when you include the target failings under the Acquisition and Repair and Lease Schemes for 2016 and the first nine months of 2017. Delivery will have to increase by 640% to reach the 2018 target of 4,969 or 1,300% to make up the 6,000 unit deficit when including the Acquisition and Repair and Lease Scheme targets."

Deputy Cowen said, “These figures cast serious doubt on the Governments capacity to provide 50,000 social housing units by 2021, including 30,000 new build homes."

“Rebuilding Ireland is around 6,000 units behind schedule when compared with the Ministers own targets for direct build, acquisitions and repair and lease. This excludes missed opportunities like the 4,500 NAMA units that were turned down by Local Authorities. In order to make up this deficit and reach the overall targets we will need a major shift in Government thinking to address the homelessness crisis and the 100,000 households on the waiting list," he continued. 

“The Local Authority and Approved Housing Bodies approach is clearly not delivering. We need a renewed emphasis on the implementation of a direct building programme which the State has successfully delivered in the past. Building 10,000 units per annum is achievable. Fianna Fáil delivered more than this number between 2007 - 2009," Cowen said. 

“Proceeds from bank share sales and the €3bn NAMA fund should be directed towards a direct build programme. In addition, the Fianna Fáil Vacant Housing Refurbishing Bill should be introduced as a priority. This could help create 4,000 new units in Dublin alone."

“The Government clearly will not meet its own 50,000 target unless it changes its approach to dealing with the housing crisis. The Government needs to start delivering new homes. Failure to do so will ensure a generation of families will be left without a secure home,” concluded Deputy Cowen.

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