Saturday 18 November 2017

'Government's dismal progress on housing funding must be explained'

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan has called on the Housing Minister to explain the lack of progress in securing new sources of funding for social and affordable housing.

"He said the Government's 'Rebuilding Ireland' plan contained a commitment to 'seek to mobilise as quickly as possible, all possible sources of funding, including funding from the Housing Finance Agency, Irish Strategic Investment Fund, the Irish League of Credit Unions, and Irish Pension Funds to increase the supply of social and affordable housing'.

"However, despite the Credit Unions saying they were 'cheque ready' to provide money for housing, the Government has failed to establish any such fund," said Deputy Moynihan.

"When Rebuilding Ireland was launched over a year ago, one of the proposals contained in it was the establishment of an innovation fund to support the development of new financial models to help with the building of social and affordable homes. More than 13 months have passed and we are no further down the road with regard to these financial options. What's worse is that the Irish League of Credit Unions is fully supportive of the move and has itself called for the implementation of this fund."

He said that in they middle of what was "the worst housing crisis in the history of the state", the Minister and government was failing to follow through on the commitments contained in its own policy.

"The establishment of the innovation fund is being backed by the Credit Union, which has voiced its willingness to invest, but the Government has still not taken up the offer. Minister Murphy needs to explain why his Department is failing to take advantage of the funding which is being offered, which could be used to build thousands of new units," said Deputy Moynihan.

"The housing emergency is particularly acute here in County Cork. There is a serious lack of supply, with families, young professionals and students all vying for the limited stock available in the city and suburbs. This crisis will only be solved by increasing supply - precisely what the innovation fund is designed to accelerate. Minister Murphy has serious questions to answer," he concluded.


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