A dedicated Housing Delivery Agency is urgently needed to step up the pace of home building, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said today.
Deputy Murphy made her comments as homeless campaigners predicted that the number of children in emergency accommodation will double from 3,000 to 6,000 if present trends continue.
“It’s a national shame that the homeless crisis has reached the stage where service providers are predicting that there may be more children than adults using homelessness services by the end of this year. The #MyNameIs campaign, which the Social Democrats support, has shown us in the starkest terms how the lives of children and families are being irreversibly damaged by this crisis.
“The Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy assures us that the issue is a top priority for the government and that resources are not an issue. Yet houses are not being built at the pace required. The only way to properly ramp up social housing delivery on the ground is to set up an agency which is dedicated to building homes.
“The Social Democrats want to see a new State Housing Delivery Agency as a powerful coordinating body charged with contracting builders and activating publicly-controlled land banks across different local authorities. This kind of dedicated agency could achieve economies of scale across housing development sites and that would bring down construction costs. It would also be able to retain know-how and institutional memory that is being lost at the moment.”
Deputy Murphy added:
“The Housing Delivery Office in the Department of Housing has only got four staff – that’s completely inadequate to meet the housing needs the country is facing. Without a dedicated agency with proper powers to coordinate our policy response, piecemeal measures will not delivery the scale of building that is needed to overcome the current crisis.”
28 August 2017