The Government’s social housing statistics demonstrate that private market-driven approaches continued to attract millions of Government funding in 2020, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s Housing spokesperson, commented:

“The Department of Housing’s Construction Status Report saw housing delivery reach only 70% of its annual target. While restrictions were naturally going to impact delivery, the Government is once again turning to the private market to make up for its failures.

“The Government’s target of 11,000 for 2020, as set out in ‘Rebuilding Ireland’, was sadly hamstrung by the restrictions caused by Covid-19. In response, the Government is repeating mistakes of the past.

“An additional 1,444 houses are being delivered through leasing programmes. This is bad value for money where the Department pays the cost of a home over a 20-25 year period but does not own the property after the lease. These funds would be better invested in new build social housing owned by the State.

“In 2020, there was also a spike in accommodation being provided through new HAP and RAS schemes, with 16,798 added over the past year for a total of over 80,000 renters. The Government is lining the pockets of institutional landlords through these payments.

“The 6,818 decrease in social housing waiting lists is largely driven by HAP or the removal of applicants due to the Housing Needs Assessments completed by councils. We need long-term, secure social housing instead of an ever-increasing reliance on costly market-driven approaches.”

March 9, 2021

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