Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin hits out at Housing Minister over failed annual targets

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin hits out at Housing Minister over failed annual targets

Sinn Féin's spokesperson for housing, Eoin Ó Broin said the Government's failure to meet housing targets is 'embarrassing'. Picture: Leah Farrell/ RollingNews.ie

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien has been accused of "deflecting blame away from the weakness of his own plan", which will not meet targets this year.

Just 325 affordable purchase homes have been completed to date, though many of these have not yet been sold or occupied.

The six projects in four local authority areas include 117 units on Boherboy Road and another 36 in Cluain Chaoin, both in Cork City.

Waterford City and County Council has also completed two affordable housing schemes at Elder Walk, Summerfields which has 95 units, and Deer Park, Williamstown which has 25 homes.

South Dublin County Council has provided 16 units at Kilcarbery Grange, and Fingal local authority has completed 39 homes at Dun Emer in Lusk.

Responding to a parliamentary question, Mr O'Brien said it is anticipated that there will be additional projects advertised before the year-end.

Hitting out at Mr O'Brien, Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said the figures again confirm that this year's housing targets will not be met.

The main issue here is the embarrassingly low level of delivery of affordable rental and purchase delivery from Government. Targets were too low, and even those are not being met.

It comes after Cabinet was last week warned that the Government is missing key housing targets set down in the Housing for All plan.

Even with low targets, they can't deliver, because he's not dealing with the bureaucracy and red tape that is slowing down social housing provision at the moment

"Before now Darragh O'Brien was blaming Covid, then he was blaming Ukraine, now he's blaming construction sector capacity, even though we have 20,000 more construction workers than we had two or three years ago. Next, he's going to start blaming local authorities." Mr ÓBroin added.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that "approximately 300" cost rental homes out of a target of 900 have been delivered via the cost rental equity loan scheme to date, as well as 50 cost rental homes delivered via the old serviced sites fund.

Mr Ó Broin said approved housing bodies (AHBs) have been given around €70m to deliver 900 affordable cost rentals, but only 300 have been delivered by the end of the third quarter of this year.

He said: "The idea that the State would only deliver 500 affordable purchases and 900 affordable rentals is itself a scandal. The fact that the Department of Housing and the Government can't even ensure the delivery of those anemic targets is not only embarrassing, but it's part of the reason why the housing crisis us getting worse.

Rents are rising, house prices are rising and homelessness is rising. Meanwhile, the Minister is deflecting blame onto everybody else for his own failure and his Government's own failure to deliver even a modest volume of affordable homes. The plan isn't working, the plan needs to be scrapped.

He was also critical of the fact that no information was supplied in relation to a Land Development Agency (LDA) scheme.

"Interestingly there is no data on LDA cost rental for this year, despite the Government saying they have a target of 1,000, which they won't deliver."

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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