Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the measures announced as part of Budget 2019 to address the severe deficits in social housing across the country were fought for during the party’s Budget negotiations with Government.
He said, “Since Fianna Fáil entered into the Confidence & Supply arrangement we have forced the overall capital budget in housing to increase from €430m in 2016 to €1.34bn in Budget 2019. This is a €900m increase or over 300%.
“Social homes are desperately needed and a major programme of social housing building is the only means of bringing them quickly on stream to alleviate the crisis in demand.
“Local authorities were set very ambitious targets for building social housing but to do have been heavily impeded by sheer bureaucracy in Government. During Budget negotiations we sought to triple the Local Authority discretion to from €2m to €6m.
“By cutting through red tape, Fianna Fáil has facilitated Local Authorities to by-pass planning hoops in the Department of Housing. Councils will now be in the position to build up to 30 social units without going through the drawn out 59 week, four stage process.
“This will ultimately ensure that badly needed units are delivered at a faster, more sustained pace.
"We worked hard to influence this Budget process by pushing for greater capital to build social housing but the time for delivery is now. That onus is on the Housing Minister and his Government colleagues.
“The measures announced as part of Budget 2019 are not enough alone to solve this emergency but by applying even more pressure over the coming weeks this Government might finally begin to wake up,” he concluded.