Tuesday 23 April 2019

Councils fall dramatically short of target

Demand: People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Demand: People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Local authorities have built fewer than 500 homes in the first half of the year.

Figures from the Department of Housing show how the State is almost completely reliant on the private sector to deliver social housing, with almost 80pc of all new units delivered so far this year rented from private landlords.

An update on the social housing programme also showed seven councils had not built a single home in the first half of the year.

Local authorities were expected to deliver 25,941 homes in 2018 through a combination of build, leasing, renting from private landlords and acquiring on the open market. To date, only 12,358 have been delivered.

But just 487 homes were built by all local authorities, with none delivered in Clare, Leitrim, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary or Waterford City and county.

In all, 9,739 units were leased or rented in the first six months, from a total of 12,358 homes delivered.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the Government needed to "break its addiction" to the private sector, especially given rising rents.

Separately, deputy chief executive of Dublin City Council Brendan Kenny has said that the average cost of building one social unit in the capital is just under €300,000 and could rise again.

Speaking at a Dáil housing committee, he said the cost of delivering 54 homes as part of the St Teresa's Gardens regeneration would cost €18.9m, coming at a cost of €351,000 per unit.

Mr Kenny said that the Government target of the delivery of more than 9,000 homes between 2018 and 2021 "frightened the life out of us".

He said that it would be a huge challenge for the council to be able to deliver that number of homes.

Irish Independent

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