Saturday 19 January 2019

Government behind target for social housing builds this year - new report

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Frank McGrath
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Frank McGrath
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

LESS than half of all new social homes promised for delivery this year have been completed, new figures show.

The Department of Housing says 2,369 homes have been completed by local authorities and approved housing bodies up to the end of September, which represents 48pc of the annual target.

But it said that delivery would ramp-up towards the end of the year and that it expected councils and approved housing bodies to achieve their targets.

But Labour's Housing spokesperson Jan O'Sullivan said Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy needed to explain why delivery was below target.

"The Minister for Housing has to explain the figures released today,” she said.

"There is no realistic prospect of the full target of social housing being delivered by the end of the year.

"The minister must explain to opposition parties, and the country, why less than half of the homes he committed to be built this year have been delivered so far. Given the scale of the crisis in front of us now, this really isn't acceptable.”

The figures show that at the end of the third quarter, the State provided an additional 18,781 ‘housing solutions’ – which includes new build, leased and rented – across all local authorities.

This represents 74pc of the 2018 target for 2018.

On new builds, some 2,369 were delivered, which is 80pc higher than the same period of last year.

The Construction Status report also shows that 4,933 homes were under construction at the end of quarter three, with another 2,652 units approved and about to go on site.

In all, some 17,536 homes are in the social housing programme. They are either awaiting approval, approved, under construction or completed.

Minister Murphy said that “good progress” was being made.

“As has been the case in recent years, delivery is weighted towards year end.

"Delivery is being carefully monitored at local authority level and all stakeholders are mobilised to drive the earliest completions possible,” he said.

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