June 8, 2023
Government overreliance on private developers for social housing is high cost and high risk – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has said that the Government’s overreliance on private developers for social housing delivery is high cost and high risk. 

The Dublin Mid West TD’s comments were made after securing new information from the Department of Housing, which shows that 73% of last year’s new-build social housing was delivered by private developers through turnkey projects and Part V acquisitions.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Last year, Government funded the delivery of 7,433 new-build social homes. This was significantly lower than the 9,000 new-build social homes promised by Darragh O’Brien in his housing plan.

“New information released to me this week from the Department of Housing shows that just 27% of these homes were delivered directly by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies.

“The largest portion of last year’s output was delivered by private developers in what are known as turnkey projects. 4,026, homes representing 54% of the total, were purchased by Councils and Housing Bodies from private developers.

“The remaining 19% of new-build social homes were purchased from private developers under Part V of the Planning and Development Act, where 10% of a private development is bought for social housing.

“This means that 73% of all new social homes delivered last year were essentially purchased from private developers. Only 1,976 homes were delivered by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies on public land.

“This is high risk and high cost. High risk because it reveals a heavy over-reliance on private developers for social housing delivery. High cost because in general turnkey and Part V developments are more expensive than direct delivery, as land costs and developers margin are included in the price.

“While turnkeys and Part V must remain central to social housing delivery in the coming years, what these figures show is that Government must focus on increasing the direct delivery output of Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies. 

“This will require increased investment and reform of the approval and tendering processes imposed on Councils and Housing Bodies when delivering social homes.”

The response to Deputy Ó Broin’s Parliamentary Question can be read here.

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