Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that ‘the Government’s massive underspend on social and affordable housing is contributing to rising levels of homelessness and housing need.’
The Dublin Mid-West TD’s comments were made in response to figures provided to him by the Department of Housing that confirm a €1billlion underspend in the capital budget for social and affordable housing from 2020 to 2023.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“New figures provided to me by the Department of Housing show that from 2020 to 2022 Darragh O’Brien’s Department underspent its capital budget by €1,517,999.
“Of particular concern is that €1,004,926 of the underspend is from the capital budget for social and affordable housing delivery.
“This housing underspend has been increasing each year Darragh O’Brien has been Minister from €92m in 2020 to €441m in 2021 and to €471m last year.
“While Covid19 construction site restrictions were a factor they are not the main reason why so much money for social and affordable housing is being underspent. Nor does it explain why the annual underspend is increasing each year, even after Covid.
“Indeed, information released by the Department of Finance this week shows the trend has continued into 2023 with a 29% capital underspend in the Department of Housing in the first three months of this year.
“The level of red tape and delay imposed on Local Authorities and Approved Housing bodies by the Department of Housing and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is the principle problem.
“The unspent capital funding could have delivered at least an additional 4,000 social and affordable homes. This could have housed half the total number of households currently in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation.
“Local Authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and opposition politicians have been highlighting this problem for years yet the Minister for Housing has refused to act. His inertia and incompetence has resulted in a billion euros of much needed housing funding unspent, at least 4,000 public homes not built and thousands of people homeless as a result.”
For Written Answer on : 07/03/2023
Question Number(s): 296 Question Reference(s): 11120/23
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: Eoin Ó Broin T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage further to Parliamentary Question No. 295 of 21 February 2023, if he will provide the information that was requested for both the allocation and outturn for each individual programme heading under each Vote for his Department for 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
My Department’s Vote 34 REV provision and total gross expenditure by Programme are provided in tabular form in the attached PDF. In each of the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, the provisions provided in the tables reflect the final REV for the Department in that year i.e. post any Supplementary Estimates and the totals include the relevant capital carryover amounts.