“12 months ago, Dublin councillors met Minister Murphy and told him that if he wanted to speed up social housing delivery he needed to: simplify the procurement process; free up funding in advance, and stop his officials from micro-managing projects.
“A full year later, none of these have been achieved and now he is blaming local authorities,” says Fianna Fáil’s candidate in Dublin North West, Cllr. Paul McAuliffe.
“The Department of Housing needs to butt out of procurement and building process, and let local authorities build the houses our citizens need.
“Minister Murphy must get his own house in order before he starts criticising local authorities. The overly bureaucratic and centralised model of delivering social housing is failing, and in particular, it is failing out citizens. Across the State, there are over 120,000 people on social housing waiting lists. It cannot be business as usual.
“The role of the Department, to my mind, is to award funding, ensure standards and the best possible use of State funds and lands. The Department should not be interfering with the minutia of housing design, such as the size of windows.
“Equally the 75 week procurement process with constant levels of re-approval which we have had to endure on the mixed-income Oscar Traynor site in Beaumont is hampering our ability to deliver social housing. This proposal was first put to local councillors in July 2014. It is now expected that ground will not be broken until July 2020, a full six years since it was first proposed.
“The failure to publish a national Affordable Housing Scheme has also contributed to the delay in delivery of mixed-income housing developments which is the preferred option.
“Until the Minister takes the brakes off local authorities by telling his own Department to stop meddling when it comes to building social housing, we will never fully deliver on our potential to house our citizens,” concluded McAuliffe.