Green Party Deputy Leader T.D. Catherine Martin today in the Dáil called on the Tánaiste to explain why only €500m of the €1.4bn housing capital budget under Rebuilding Ireland was spent on building and acquiring new units in 2017.
Deputy Martin said: “The government needs to be clear on where nearly €1 billion of the housing budget is going. If €500m was spent on acquisition and building in 2017, we can only assume the remaining nearly €1 billion was spent subsidising private landlords.
“This year, despite a pledge from Minister Eoghan Murphy that 2,284 units would be delivered in 2017, only a third of that (809 units) had been finished by the end of September. In the four Dublin local authorities, once housing units built by approved housing bodies (which the government only part-funds) and rapid builds are excluded, only 22 units were built from January to September of this year to tackle the housing list in Dublin, which currently has 40,000 people on it.
“It is time for the government to think outside the box in relation to housing. It is time for them to accept that Rebuilding Ireland isn’t working. Rather than putting money into the pockets of landlords, the Government need to start directly building social housing and cost-rental, and engage constructively with housing bodies and co-operatives.
“Surely an objective analysis of the Government’s response to this emergency crisis should be results driven and quite frankly the results speak for themselves – they are appalling. It’s time for a new direction. It’s time for a new plan.”