Information obtained by Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD through Parliamentary Question this month reveals that a special investment fund to allow Credit Unions invest in social housing which due to be finalised by Government some seven months ago, is still not in place.
The Fingal TD said, “It’s been four years since the Irish Credit Union movement first expressed their interest in investing in social housing. As far back as May 2017, the Department of Housing funded an Irish Council for Social Housing project for a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). It was over a year later when the Central Bank introduced regulatory changes that allowed up to €750m to be invested in large Social Housing bodies.
“Minister English indicated last September that the vehicle would be ready by October yet here we are and not a single cent of €750m has been invested. This sum could build roughly 3,750 much needed social homes. What is the Government’s issue with completing its roll out?
“We have neither seen nor heard of the details regarding the types of units that will be prioritised when building works eventually get going, let alone how it’s intended the vehicle will link into the overall Rebuilding Ireland strategy.
“The hands off attitude demonstrated by Government throughout this entire process shows us if we didn’t already know before now that it doesn’t give a hoot about the ordinary working families desperately in need of support to find a home.
“Fact is, Fine Gael are not remotely serious about attracting outsider finance or making the most of Credit Union money to help build badly needed social housing and we have to ask ourselves why that is”, concluded Deputy O’Brien.