Housing Minister Simon Coveney will face protests in Cork this morning at a regional briefing on the Government’s multibillion-euro plan to tackle the housing crisis.
Worker’s Party councillor Ted Tynan described the Cork City briefing on the Rebuilding Ireland plan in City Hall as a “cosy” meeting of stakeholders including “builders, speculators, and a few token voluntary bodies”.
He claimed the key stakeholders — any of the thousands of people across the city and county who are languishing on local authority housing waiting lists — will not be able to attend.
“The ‘stakeholders’ don’t include those on the housing lists — instead, the builders, speculators, and a few token voluntary bodies have been invited in to be told all the wonderful things Simon says he’s going to do about housing,” said Mr Tynan.
“And what is he going to do? Not a lot — only continue to present policy of favouring private developers and ensuring that most people have little or no chance of being housed in the short term or even the much longer term.”
Mr Tynan claimed that Mr Coveney will not listen to local councillors because the Rebuilding Ireland plan is set in stone.
A spokeswoman for Mr Coveney defended the format of the briefing. She said local councillors and the various housing agencies will represent those on the housing waiting list. She said the format worked well in Limerick last week, and will be used again in Waterford next week and in Cork County on September 30.
The briefing is expected to hear details on timelines and targets for various house building projects in Cork City to identify logjams and issues around funding, and deal with the repairs of vacant local authority housing.
The Rebuilding Ireland plan, unveiled in July, is designed to accelerate all types of housing supply — social, private, and rental.
It proposes to spend up to €5bn supporting the delivery of some 47,000 new social houses by 2021, to double the output of overall housing from the current levels to at least 25,000 a year by 2020, to tackle homelessness, and to address problems in the rental sector.
It also proposes to provide up to €200m to local authorities to provide enabling infrastructure on key sites that will open lands up for early development.
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