Simon Coveney working ‘day and night’ on housing crisis plan

Housing Minister Simon Coveney has insisted his action plan for housing will be ready within 100 days, saying he is working “night and day” to address the emergency.

Mr Coveney yesterday moved to clarify remarks he made to the Oireachtas Housing Committee on Thursday at which he stated the launch of the plan will be delayed, because the 100 day mark falls during the August holiday season.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Coveney said: “Any suggestion that I am delaying the plan to take holidays is nonsense. The plan will be ready and many elements of the plan will be up and running before the 100-day deadline.”

He said suggestions that holidays are more important than dealing with the crisis were “unfair”.

“To say I am not taking this seriously is an attack on my credibility,” he said. “I am working and will be working night and day to resolve this crisis.”

Mr Coveney, Fine Gael TD for the Cork South Central constituency, highlighted the fact that the Cabinet has met three times on the housing issue in the four weeks it has been in office, a sign of the priority the crisis is being given.

The Irish Examiner yesterday, along with several other media outlets, ran stories based on Mr Coveney’s comments at the Committee on Thursday where he stated the deadline would be missed for officially launching the plan.

At the committee, he said that one of the problems around the 100-day target is that it lands right in the middle of August.

“For obvious reasons, that poses a problem because many people are not focused on work in the middle of August,” he said.

“I suspect that some of the people at this table will be but many others will not be,” he told committee members.

Mr Coveney went on to say that it could be possible to launch the plan in July, but he said he feared nothing would happen as the political system and civil service would be on their summer holidays.


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