Wednesday, 26 October 2022
Social and Affordable Housing Supply: Motion [Private Members]
Recently at the housing committee we have had local authorities in to give us an update on the Government's housing plan. Each week we hear the news from the Government that local authorities are meeting their targets, so you might think building enough social and affordable housing to meet the need is happening, but it is not. Not one local authority that has been in says that if they meet all targets on social, affordable and cost rentals, that list will not rise. Not alone should we be stopping the lists from rising, we should be trying to reduce the housing crisis.
Using Cork City Council as an example, I will go through a few numbers. That council's target for affordable housing each year is 78 homes. The council has estimated that 3,294 families will not qualify for either a mortgage or social housing in the next five years. How in the name of God does the Minister of State and Government think delivering 78 affordable houses will solve that crisis? Cork City Council thinks it will exceed its social housing targets, which sounds positive, and build 2,134 homes, but it estimates that 2,688 households will join the waiting list in the same period. To make it simple, that means the council's targets, when they are met, will leave it with 500 more families on the housing list than it had before it met any targets. We are talking about thousands of children being detrimentally affected.
Cork City Council needs to build more, but its targets need to be higher. These are Government targets. It is setting targets that are too low and not ambitious enough. Sinn Féin, People Before Profit-Solidarity and the rest of the Opposition are not giving out for the sake of it, which is what the Government always says. We want the Minister to put real ambitious targets in place that will finally deliver and reduce the housing crisis. Right now, the Government's plan is not working and the Minister should consider his position.