Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen TD says the Government plan to use modular homes to tackle the housing emergency is lacking in key detail.
Deputy Cowen made the comments after Minister for Environment Alan Kelly indicated that the Government would make modular homes available in a matter of weeks to help tackle the growing homeless emergency.
“Minister Kelly recently announced that modular homes would be used to tackle the homeless emergency, but the Government has failed to specify how they intend bringing these units on stream over the coming months. I am weary of taking Minister Kelly’s commitments at face value considering his track record, or lack thereof, in this area,” said Deputy Cowen.
“First and foremost we do not know the location of the sites where these modular homes will be based. Have the local authorities in Dublin actually identified areas where these modular homes will be based, or has Minister Kelly gone ahead and made another commitment without thinking through the specific details? Has the Minister secured planning permission for the placement of these units, or do we have to wait 18 months before procurement and planning issues are overcome?
“When the Taoiseach was asked in the Dáil to provide clarity on these issues he simply could not do so. It seems the Government plan for dealing with the homeless and housing emergency hasn’t been thought through. We are still waiting to hear where these modular homes will be located and whether they will be adequately serviced. Meanwhile more and more families are at risk of becoming homeless.
“There is no sense of urgency or joined up thinking when it comes Minister Kelly’s response to the housing emergency. NAMA had up to 11,000 housing units in its possession which already had full planning permission. However they decided to sell these units, which could have been used to tackle the housing emergency, instead of putting them to productive use.
“It’s clear Fine Gael and Labour don’t understand what needs to be done to resolve this emergency. They should be bringing forward immediate relief to families who are at risk of becoming homeless but instead they are interested in announcing plans instead of delivering on commitments they have already made.”