Four PR launches for the Government's housing strategy over the past 12 months has resulted in "not one new social housing unit in Galway" and some 4,570 families still on the social housing waiting lists.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Colm Keaveney who said the Government's latest investment on social housing, to build 1,700 new units across the country over the next three years, was already announced last November, and was prompted more by "an election looming", rather than a belief in tacking the accommodation crisis.
"The problem has been allowed to escalate totally out of control," he said, "because despite all the promises, no action has been taken. As a result, every single week, more families are facing the possibility of losing their homes because of a lack of affordable housing. The families on the waiting lists in Galway are sick of hearing empty promise after empty promise from this Government. "
The Tuam based TD is also highly sceptical of what can be achieved under the current plans, saying that, "even if the Government follows through" on its commitments, the proposed 1,700 units "will barely make a dent in what’s actually needed", given the 4,570 families on social housing waiting lists in Galway - a figure that has grown steadily over the years.
Dep Keaveney is calling instead for "radical action" to "dramatically increase supply" and end the situation of "thousands of families are living in temporary accommodation". He is demanding the Government free up vacant NAMA units across the region and tackle the "unreasonable rent prices which are pricing too many people out of the market".