Fewer than fifteen per cent of housing units completed, says Farrell

Sinn Féin councillor Mairéad Farrell has criticised the Government for being significantly behind schedule in the delivery of social housing construction projects in Galway and across the State.

In a report released by the Government this month entitled Social Housing Construction Projects: Status Report Q3, it was revealed that out of a total 563 planned housing units for Galway city and county, only 14.9 per cent have actually been completed.

Cllr Farrell said: “It is deeply frustrating to see the increasing numbers of people seeking emergency accommodation from Galway city and county councils in the run up to Christmas, while at the same time there is a lack of progress in provision.

“The figures contained in the recent Rebuilding Ireland status report show that out of the 563 housing units planned for the county and city, 415 have planning permission, 119 are on-site, and only 84 have been completed.

“Galway has one of the fastest growing housing crises in the state but there is clearly no appetite from central government to provide adequate levels of funding in order to nip this in the bud. Let me be very clear, the statutory responsibility for provision of social housing rests with local authorities but the responsibility for capital investment of local authorities and approved housing bodies rests with Government.

“It is evident that both the current targets and pace of construction are characteristics of a Government solution that is unfit for purpose.

“In fact, according to Department of Housing figures, even the social housing construction projects currently in the pipeline will only meet the housing need of 10 per cent of the 5,646 households on the waiting list in Galway city and county.

“These figures show that the Government is not meeting its own unambitious social housing targets. Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues on Galway city and county councils are strong advocates for a major house-building programme that would put local people to work and provide homes to those families and individuals who need one so badly. Local authorities, however, need to be provided with adequate funding in order to get more of these projects moving and the procurement and tendering process must be streamlined to speed up this process.”

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