Fianna Fáil demands to know if €400m from Bord Gais Energy sale was spent on social housing

Fianna Fáil is demanding to know whether any social housing units have been built using proceeds generated from the sale of Bord Gais Energy.

Expenditure spokesman for the party Barry Cowen wants to know what happened to the earmarked funds, according to the Irish Examiner.

It was promised in Budget 2015 that €400m from the proceeds of the sale of Bord Gais Energy would be used through a special financial vehicle to fund social housing. However, no new model or financing of social housing on an off-balance sheet basis was found for this.

In response, the Government committed to put €10m a year from the proceeds, over a longer period, into the development of a pilot affordable rental scheme. However, this €10m pilot project, announced as far back as 2015, was never undertaken.

A spokesman for Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has insisted that the money is not sitting somewhere unspent, but could not provide details on where the proceeds went specifically.

The spokesman added: “The money doesn’t come in as Bord Gais money or not Bord Gais money. The money is part of the €6bn spent and to be spent between 2016 and 2021.”

However, Fianna Fáil wants to know what has happened specifically to the €400m set aside and promised for social housing.

Mr Cowen added: “This is shameful given there are 3,000 children in emergency accommodation and an increasing number of citizens becoming homeless.

“Where has the €400m been invested and what has it delivered for the taxpayer?”

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