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TD slams the slow pace of 'rapid-build' scheme for homes


 (Stock image)

(Stock image)


(Stock image)

Less than a third of the 1,500 modular homes promised by the Government to ease the housing crisis are currently in place, the Housing Department has confirmed.

A spokesman for the department said only 423 out of a promised 1,500 modular homes under the "rapid-build programme" have actually come on stream.

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney had set a target of 1,500 pre-built modular homes to be in place by the end of 2018 when he was housing minister. However, since that target was set, just over 28pc of the homes have actually come on stream.

The glacial pace of the so-called 'rapid-build programme' has been branded a failure by Labour's housing spokeswoman Jan O'Sullivan.

"It has dismally failed to deliver," she told the 'Sunday Business Post'.

"The homeless figure is nearly 10,000, including 4,000 children.

"The urgency of the situation seems to have been lost."

But instead of fast-tracking the programme, the Government has changed the plans.

The target of 1,500 modular homes to come on stream has now been scaled back to 1,300. And instead of being in situ by the end of last year, they will now come on stream in 2021.

When the programme was initially announced, the department had set a target to deliver 200 modular homes by 2016, followed by 800 in 2017 and 500 by 2018.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy recently revealed that 225 rapid-build homes are expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

Ms O'Sullivan said she has not been given an adequate explanation for the slow pace of the programme.

The lack of construction workers cannot be used as a reason for failing to hit the target because the homes are pre-built in factories, she added.

However, in a statement to the Irish Independent, the department said it is working with local authorities to have the homes installed as soon as possible.

"We are working closely with all local authorities in relation to increasing and accelerating the delivery of rapid-build methodologies. To support rapid-delivery housing, the Office of Government Procurement put in place a framework of rapid-delivery contractors in 2017," a spokesman said.

"This framework is available for all local authorities and approved housing bodies to use in the interest of accelerated delivery."

Irish Independent