Housing Minister defends attending opening of eight houses
HOUSING Minister Eoghan Murphy has defended turning up to cut the ribbon at the official opening of eight houses, given the huge scale of the housing crisis.
Mr Murphy was in North Dublin this afternoon to officially open the second phase of a neighbourhood for older people.
It brings to 45 the number of houses in the St Benedict’s scheme in Malahide – a project spearheaded by the St Vincent DePaul with funding from Mr Murphy’s department and Fingal County Council.
Mr Murphy denied it was a sign of desperation that he was attending the opening of eight houses.
He insisted: “It’s important to be here to acknowledge the community and the fantastic work that people like St Vincent DePaul and the local authority have done to provide an additional eight new homes in what is already a large community for the elderly”.
Mr Murphy also pointed out that Fingal County Coucnil will deliver more than 640 social homes this year alone in addition to other housing initiatives,
And he said the government will oversee the delivery of around 8,000 new social homes by the end of 2018 which he said is “incredibly significant”.
He said there will be around 20,000 new homes of all types built this year and said: “next year we’re going to be ramping that up quite significantly”.
“These are big numbers and they’re going to help a lot of people but a lot more has to be done,” he said.
Mr Murphy said that’s why there was additional resources announced in the Budget to fund 10,000 social homes in 2019.
He said the government “recognise that there are people who are struggling to pay the rent, there are people who are struggling to get a mortgage together to buy a home.”
He also said: “There are people in emergency accommodation tonight when they shouldn’t be.
“All of the things that we’re doing a as government, finding solutions and help for people.”
The first phase of St Benedict’s was completed in 2009.
It is built on a plot of land gifted by local woman, the late Josephine Denning, in her will to be used for housing older people.