Connolly questions inaction of housing taskforce for Galway

Independent TD calls for an action plan to deliver public housing construction

The Social Housing Taskforce for Galway, announced nine months ago, has to date issued no reports and there are no minutes for any meetings it may have had, a situation described as "very worrying" by one local TD.

Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly is calling for the taskforce, announced by the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, in February this year, to set out an action plan for the construction of social housing for the city.

Dep Connolly has raised concerns over the lack of activity from the taskforce, saying it indicates the Government's "lack of urgency in relation to tackling the housing crisis in Galway". She said the scale of the crisis - 306 people in Galway are classed as homeless, while applicants on the housing waiting list can be waiting 10 to 15 years for accommodation - warrants a special taskforce, and she said it was time it became proactive and engaged with the issue.

"The magnitude of the problem is clear to see on a daily basis," she said. " There is an urgent need for a public housing construction programme on public land and yet, nine months after its establishment, we haven’t heard a word from the taskforce."

She is calling on the taskforce to "set out an action plan in an open and accountable manner", that will "deal with the legacy of government policy, which saw no public houses constructed in Galway in almost a 10-year period". She said it must also deal with the "unacceptable number of empty houses" in the city. She said any action plan needs to also form part of an overall masterplan for Galway.

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