Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

9:00 am

Photo of Shane CassellsShane Cassells (Meath West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

That is great information. However, it is a pity the agency did not provide information on the one substantive, negative issue that we raised on the day and that I raised in particular. I asked for the locations and breakdown of the properties that had been offered to local authorities but not taken up. The Chairman alluded to section 2 and the 2,475 units that have been delivered, which is included in the breakdown in tabular form by county. It is a pity the Housing Agency did not provide in tabular form the location of the 2,424 properties which were deemed unsuitable by reference to location or sustainability issues. I consistently pressed the agency on the day on the so-called, to use its word, over-concentration of certain amounts of property which made them unsuitable. What is going on at the moment is a national scandal. It is something for all of us to press with our local authorities. On the day we had representatives of the Housing Agency and the Department here, I had answers from the Minister to parliamentary questions. They were all blaming each other. The Department jumped in to bail out the Housing Agency as well. It is unfortunate that although we have plenty of good information, we do not have it on the issue of the 2,424 properties that the Housing Agency considered unsuitable by reference to location or sustainability based on what it calls "an over-concentration". In some cases it was claimed there was no demand. There are 10,000 homeless but supposedly according to the Housing Agency there is no demand in some of these areas. It is a pity we do not have a table setting out the areas of "no demand" because it would be highly informative. It still rankles with me in terms of the ideological debate that certain phraseology and terms can be used. While I am on that issue, did the committee receive a response from the County and City Managers Association, CCMA, on when it will appear?


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