October 1, 2020
Delay in Social Housing plans must be investigated by Public Accounts Committee – Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Brian Stanley TD has called for the committee to scrutinise a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) on delays in social housing provision. 

The report, which was released yesterday, highlights 29 sites owned by the State for social and affordable housing which have absolutely no plans or proposals in place despite being found by the C&AG to be ready for immediate development. 

Speaking today, Teachta Stanley said: 

“Despite there being a housing crisis across the State which needs urgently addressed, we’ve been provided with evidence that 29 sites owned by the State are sitting there for years with no plans or development proposals in place for social housing.

“What’s worse is that a review by the C&AG has found that all 29 sites are ready for immediate development- all they need is a plan or development proposal. It is completely unacceptable.

“One site in Cork cost the Council €2.4m, it consists of 13.4 hectares, it’s been with the Housing Agency since 2016 and it still doesn’t have a development plan in place.

“The C&AG also found that 4 of those 29 sites have the potential to provide up to 781 housing units.

“We have an entire generation of young people currently locked out of owning their own home and yet we have acres of land sitting ready for development without a proposal.

“And tens of thousands of families are languishing on Council housing waiting lists for a decade or more.

“We urgently need to provide affordable homes to purchase and cost-rental schemes for those who are just above the income threshold for council housing but are not earning enough to secure a mortgage.

“As the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, I will be asking the Committee to address this matter as a priority. We need to know what has been happening with these sites, why no action has been taken and what timeline can be put in place to get things moving.”

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