Shocking underspend in housing points to a Minister out of his depth
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has condemned Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien for a chronic failure to address the housing crisis.
Following news that the Department failed to spend €1 billion of money which should have been allocated to housing delivery over the past three years, Deputy Bacik called for Government to reinstate the eviction ban until they have got to grips with the issue causing the greatest generational divide of our time.
Deputy Bacik said:
“I am shocked, but not surprised, at the failure of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to deliver on housing. This Government has consistently failed to live up to its own hype. We all accept that it takes time to build a home. But to see the shocking failure to control the controllables and spend money on what is the crisis of our lifetime is nothing short of a disgrace.
“Failure to deliver to deliver on housing is costing the economy and society dearly.
“This failure is being brought about by the same Government members who ridiculed Labour’s ambition to deliver 1 million homes in the next decade. The underspend points to a total lack of vision, lack of ambition and lack of urgency.
“A level of ambition for housing is imperative, even before the Government’s callous decision to lift the temporary ban on no-fault evictions – a decision made without introducing any effective contingency plans for those facing homelessness. The record figure of over 11,700 people already homeless is a shocking indictment of this Government’s failure on housing.
“The Government’s own Housing Commission has recently said that Ireland will require up to 62,000 new homes built per year until 2050 to meet demographic demand – almost double the annual target in the Government’s master plan for this decade. Under Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien’s Housing for All strategy, the average annual target in the period to 2030 is set at just 33,000 homes – far too low but not even met. If the government had spent the €1 billion additional money that had been allocated for housing delivery, this would have gone a huge distance to enable more families to secure decent homes.”