It has emerged that Dublin City Council has received just €1.1m of the €35.7m announced by the Government for new social housing projects in the city.
According to information obtained received by Fianna Fáil through Freedom of Information, just a tiny fraction of the new housing units promised by the Environment Minister Alan Kelly in May will commence this year.
The Fianna Fáil Leader on Dublin City Council Paul McAuliffe said it exposes the ‘complete fantasy’ of the Government’s plans to tackle the housing crisis.
“In May of this year, Minister Alan Kelly announced with great fanfare a number of new social housing projects for Dublin City this year with an investment of €35.7m. The fact that only €1.1million of this has been transferred to the Council to date shows just how drastically behind schedule these projects are already,” said Cllr McAuliffe.
“This latest information reveals how few social housing units are actually being built, despite the Government rhetoric. A further €14.9million has been approved for transfer to the council, but more than half of the overall funding remains completely untouched. This is because many of the projects that Minister Kelly proudly announced three months ago do not actually exist and show no signs of commencement in the near future.
“A target has been set to build more than 3,000 social housing units in Dublin at a cost of €292m by the year 2017. I have been saying for some months now that this is absolute fantasy. These latest figures showing just how painfully behind we are is further proof of this.
“The Government needs to wake up. Simply announcing projects does not make them a reality. Minister Kelly needs to start taking an active role in following through on his promises, instead of just making PR announcements and then walking away, hoping no one notices whether or not they result in anything.
“The reality is that at this rate, most of the money announced by Minister Kelly for new social housing units in Dublin will not be spent this year. It is my understanding that it’s a similar situation in most local authorities across the country. Part of the problem is the extremely long and tedious five-stage approval process for new social housing projects. The onus is on the Minister to address the problems that are preventing local authorities from making new homes available to the record number of families who desperately need them.”