New semi-state agency for housing labeled a “diversion”

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Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the speculation around a new semi-state agency for housing as another diversion that will actually delay delivery of social housing.

The Sinn Féin TD believes that the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, needs to concentrate on the bureaucratic delays currently experienced by local authorities and scrap the idea of a new semi-state agency to oversee the building of social housing.

The speculation in the media comes on the back of number of high profile deaths of homeless people in recent days.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“We already have an infrastructure for delivering social and affordable housing; it’s called Local Councils. The problem is that they have been starved of capital investment and many of the more experienced staff have been made redundant down through the recessionary years.

“The current housing staff also have to try and cope with an overly bureaucratic approval process for social housing delivery which can take up to 24 months before a single brick is laid on any given project.

“We know that setting up a new state agency would take at least a year and face the same funding and bureaucracy issues that are currently holding back many Councils throughout the State.

“What Minister Murphy needs to do is increase the targets for social housing to deliver 10,000 real social houses a year. This needs to be backed up by political as well as financial investment in social housing in concurrent budgets, until this housing crisis is resolved.

“The Minister needs to remove the bureaucratic delays in social housing, not create another tier of oversight that will nothing for those families and individuals  trapped in homelessness, in rising rental accommodation costs, or lengthening waiting local authority lists.”