Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused the Government of ‘trying to mislead the public with their Quarter 4 Housing Progress Report.’ The Dublin Mid-West TD said that ‘no amount of Government spin can hide the lack of progress on housing and the litany of missed targets.’
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The Government’s monthly so-called ‘progress’ reports on housing are becoming increasingly Orwellian. While the 44 page glossy brochure has lots of words and numbers, it tells us very little about the actual progress of a large number of Government schemes.
“As is now usual, the report provides no update on the delivery of the promised 9100 new build social homes or the 3550 genuinely affordable homes to be delivered by Local Authorities and Approved Housing bodies. All of these schemes were way behind target at the end of Quarter 3.
“Given that today’s report is meant to be a report on delivery in Quarter 4 of last year the omission of these key Government targets is telling.
“The report also deliberately misrepresents or conceals the lack of progress on a large number of other Government schemes.
“The report claims that 2,500 couples and individuals have availed of the First Home scheme in 2023. Yet the First Home Schemes own website says that just 1116 homes were bought with their equity loan last year. That’s almost 50% short of the Governments target.
“The report tells us that 3,000 applications for the vacant homes grant were approved but no detail on the number of drawdowns under the scheme. It is expected that this, when released. Just 21 of these grants had been drawn down by Q3 of last year.
“The report talks about the increase in the renter’s tax credit in Budget 2024 but fails to mention that, once again, in 2023 the only half of eligible renters claimed the limited tax credit.
‘There is mention of the cost rental homes to be advertised by the LDA this year but no mention of whether the LDA and AGBs delivered the 2000 plus cost rental homes promised last year.
“The report tells us that the Croí Cónaithe scheme run by the Housing Agency has signed contracts for the delivery of 600 new homes by 2026 but fails to mention that the target is 5000 homes.
“Not a single Government housing scheme run by the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, whether for social homes, affordable homes, vacant homes or private home purchase met its target last year. While the private and self-build sectors exceeded their expected delivery, Government delivery has fallen short once again.
“The consequences of this can be seen all around; with rising rents, rising house prices, rising homelessness and under delivery of social and affordable homes. The fact that this is what the Government calls progress is just one more reason reason why we need a change of Government.
“Ending the housing crisis would be the number one priority of a Sinn Féin government.”