Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has criticised a “deeply dishonest” briefing provided to media which indicates that the government is looking to strip housing delivery powers from local councils.
Commenting on the story Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Minister Eoghan Murphy and his Department are desperate to deflect from their housing policy failures by laying the blame on county councils.
“A dishonest briefing by an “unnamed government source” on half thought out plans by the government to strip local councils of even more powers is beneath any Minister for Housing.
“The Minister has form on this with the introduction of his apartment planning guidelines and his fast track planning regulations.
“Neither of these changes have resulted in the speedy delivery of good quality, affordable accommodation.
“The delays in social housing delivery is caused by central government policy and procedures.
“For example, the four step approvals process for the procurement of social housing needs to be reformed and currently causes greater delays than planning issues.
“Councils need more funding to deliver social and affordable planning projects not less.
“Removing the council’s power to debate and vote on significant planning and housing decisions is a retrograde step.
“Councillors represent their local communities and they are answerable to them.
“Using the O’Devaney Gardens debacle to strip councils of some of the only significant powers they have left would harm local democracy and would give unelected council officials license to run roughshod over local communities.”