Councils to fall short of social housing target

Local authorities are set to fall significantly short of new social housing targets this year.

While Government has promised 3,800 new social houses in 2018, local authorities are set to miss these targets by almost 620 homes.

Government failed to meet its targets last year, building just 2,245 new homes of the 2,424 promised. These were delivered through local authority direct builds, Approved Housing Bodies, regeneration projects and Part V.

The Irish Examiner asked the 31 local authorities in Ireland how many new social housing units they intend to build this year, and while many said they had homes at tender and design stage, only 3,183 actual new builds are planned for 2018.

However, speaking after a housing summit of local authority chiefs, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy insisted that there are “no issues around delivery”.

However, he has now given local authorities until mid-February to draw up projections for 2018 and beyond, and said these figures would not be published until at least March.

“What I want to achieve here is full transparency for each local authority and for the public to get accountability and delivery,” he said.

Dublin City Council, the largest local authority, will have 255 units “under construction” this year, 26 Part Vs, and plans to deliver 125 “rapid” homes.

According to the latest Census, 75% of the homeless crisis is centred in the capital and December’s homeless figures show that 8,800 people are now registered as being without a home.

Other Dublin authorities, including Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, South Dublin, and Fingal County Council said they will provide 420, 250, and 121 new social units respectively.

Cork, which is the next most affected city, plans to construct 255 new social housing units in 2018, and Cork County Council intends to build 274 homes.

Despite asking all local authorities Galway, Sligo, Laois, and Wicklow authorities did not supply figures.

The most ambitious authorities include Carlow which plans to deliver 198 units, Kerry with 177, Tipperary with 157 and Louth with 140.

Leitrim has the lowest target to build just seven new social housing units in 2018.

In Longford, construction will begin on eight new units, 13 houses are planned for Kildare, and Galway City Council said it will build 14 new homes in 2018.

In Limerick City and County, there are plans for 89 new social housing units and in Clare construction will start on 48 new homes, with 56 additional houses being delivered through a public-private partnership.

Meath County Council have plans for 72 new homes and in Waterford City and County there are 50 to 60 units planned.


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