Cian O'Callaghan TD

Government needs to urgently address underlying causes of crisis

The Government has missed key targets in the delivery of social, affordable and cost rental homes due to its failure to address the underlying causes of the housing crisis, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

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

“It is deeply concerning to read media reports today that the viability of the Government’s Housing For All plan is at risk, with officials warning the Cabinet Committee on Housing that key delivery targets are unlikely to be met.

“Every year, the Government makes promises to deliver much needed social, affordable and cost rental homes, and every year it fails to come even close to meeting its own targets.

“In 2021, not a single affordable purchase home was delivered. The Government is so far behind in meeting its targets that it will not even answer questions about how many affordable homes have been completed. Over the last two weeks, the Taoiseach has failed to answer my questions on this in the Dáil, while the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, was not able to give an answer on radio last week.

“After failing to meet any of his Department’s housing targets last year, the Minister promised that 2022 would be the year for delivery. However, yet again, the Government is failing to meet the goals it has set itself.

“At a time when rents, property prices and levels of homelessness have reached record levels, the latest figures show that the Department of Housing is 21 percent behind where it was this time last year in its capital spend.

“The Government is naïve in the extreme to think that setting targets and a budget for housing is a sufficient response to this crisis. Without rolling up their sleeves and tackling blockages to delivery, such as the lack of skilled construction labour, our housing crisis will remain.

“A number of immediate steps need to be taken if social, affordable and cost rental homes are to be built.

“This should include an end to the four-stage approval process for social housing construction, which is delaying local authorities in delivering homes. The tendering process for local authorities also must be changed so they don’t need to go back out to tender for each individual construction project. This is leading to substantial delays and significantly increased costs.

“Local authorities and approved housing bodies should be supported in acquiring landbanks to improve the pipeline of housing for the next few years.

“The severe skills shortage in construction, in ‘wet’ trades in particular, must be addressed with real urgency by the Minister. The hands-off, laissez-faire approach by Government simply has not worked.”

September 23, 2022

For further information please contact:
Tony McCullagh
Press Officer
Mob: 087 3377900

Back to all Posts