Funding for social housing has collapsed across all categories including direct local authority construction, housing associations and private house grants since the government came to power in 2011.

Data provided to Fianna Fáil shows a massive 79% fall in funding for local authority housing, while voluntary and housing co-operatives have lost 70% of their budget and there has been a decline of 53% in private house grants over the lifetime of the government.

Commenting on the figures Fianna Fáil Environment spokesperson Barry Cowen stated, “It is little wonder that we have a social housing crisis given that the sector has clearly been starved of funding over the last four years.

“The Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly could be better as a Minister for Announcements and No Action. He likes to give the impression that he is taking the issue seriously but the stark reality is that he and his colleagues have presided over the decimation of funding for social housing. Even in the very difficult years of 2009 and 2010 the Fianna Fáil led government provided a combined total of €1.5bn for social housing. By contrast Fine Gael and Labour spent just €328m on the sector over the last two years.

“After a year in the job Minister Kelly is as far away as ever from getting to grips with this issue. Families in need of housing have paid a huge price as a result of this government’s decision to slash funding. This in turn has led to increased prices in the private rental sector.

“Changing legislation and regulations can help support the provision of social housing but ultimately the only way to make a real dent in the massive social housing lists is to provide adequate funding. These figures comprehensively demonstrate that has not been a priority for Fine Gael and Labour,” concluded Deputy Cowen.