Fianna Fáil has accused the Environment Minister of stalling on grants to approved housing bodies, as the country experiences an unprecedented housing crisis.

According to the party’s leader on Dublin City Council, Paul McAuliffe, the applications for capital assistance from housing associations have been delayed for four months now.

Cllr McAuliffe explained, “These delays are highly unusual. They have left housing associations completely paralysed in their work to provide homes to those most in need.

“We need to know exactly what is going on here. There are growing concerns that the Minister does not have the funding to back up his promises on tackling the housing crisis. The application process closed four months ago and there is no reason why the Minister should be stalling on distributing this basic funding – unless he is trying to hold back money.

“These supports allow housing associations to provide desperately needed homes to people with disabilities, older people, families on very low incomes and homeless people. We are experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis and there is absolutely no room for delays in the most basic State supports for the groups that are working to alleviate the problem.

“This raises further questions about the Government’s commitment to tackling the housing crisis. All we have seen from Minister Alan Kelly and his colleagues is empty rhetoric and no real action to even attempt address the record social housing waiting lists and the surge in homelessness among families right across Dublin city.

“I am calling on the Minister to explain why housing associations are still waiting to hear from him after they submitted their applications for capital assistance more than 4 months ago. I am also calling on him to immediately process these applications and distribute the payments without any further delay.”