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Reduced construction activity hits Govt’s social housing targets

The Government has admitted that its supply of social housing is only 35% of target due to the reduction in construction during Covid-19 restrictions.

Opposition parties have described the figures as worse than expected with Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin saying they are “deeply disturbing”.

Mr Ó Broin said, “The dramatic fall in output will see a serious increase in demand and could potentially lead to an increase in homelessness.”

Broken down by category, the latest figures show that only 9% of new builds were supplied – 725 units out of a target of 7,736.

The number of properties being leased is only 15% of target – 387 out of 2,631.

The number of homes purchased by local authorities is half the number aimed for – 355 compared to 800.

Even the number of rental support units available under HAP and RAS were half of the target figure.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien TD said, “these figures show that delivery of social housing has been very much impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19 in late Q1, and the significant restrictions during Q2.

“We have a goal, to provide housing support to some 27,500 households this year, and despite a challenging first half, I am committed to delivering on that.”

He said €40 million in extra funding has been secured to allow local authorities to refurbish vacant social housing stock and a ‘Call for Housing 2020’ has been made to property owners to make homes available for social housing. 

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