Monday, May 09, 2022

The Government’s plan for delivering affordable housing has been described as “pathetic” amid a lack of supply.

The Government’s Housing for All plan aims to deliver 36,000 affordable homes by 2030.

This is set to be done through the State partly covering the cost in return for a stake in the property.

However, according to the Irish Independent, less than 50 affordable homes are to be built per annum in some commuter counties over the next five years.

Meanwhile, in counties Carlow and Laois, the figure is as low as eight per year.

Speaking to Newstalk, Assistant Professor of Social Policy at Maynooth University Rory Hearne said the new figures show the Government’s Housing for All plan is not working.

“I just can’t understand how this is, with a straight face, a minister could say that this is a solution to our housing crisis,” Professor Hearne said.

“I could use stronger words, but I think it’s pathetic in terms of really providing a future for people who are locked out of affordable homes.”

Also commenting on the issue, Housing Lecturer at TU Dublin Lorcan Sirr said the low number of affordable homes will not address the current demand.

“The interesting thing that has happened in the last 10 or 15 years is that the amount of people on good enough wages, who are in housing need, has expanded hugely,” he told Newstalk.

“It used to be the only people who needed help getting housing were people on very low incomes.

“That has now expanded where you have people on really good incomes… who can’t afford to buy their own homes.”

Concerns over a lack of affordable housing comes as figures released by the Department of Housing show that on March 9th, 825 people were homeless.

In April, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that the figures were a “serious concern”.

“The Government is investing significantly in social and affordable housing, with a record €4 billion allocated for current and capital investment in housing this year alone,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We are providing more social homes, we are completing more homes in general, and we have a strong pipeline of homes commenced.

“This supply activity, as well as targeted measures specifically centred on homelessness, will allow us to meet the challenge of eradicating homelessness.”

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