August 1, 2017
The government’s abject failure to deliver so-called ‘rapid-build’ homes shows just how desperately we need a dedicated Housing Delivery Agency, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said today.
Deputy Murphy said:
“It’s farcical for the government to talk about ‘rapid-build’ homes when only 22 out of 1,500 pledged modular units have been completed so far. It’s time to bite the bullet on this and set up a dedicated housing body to drive and oversee the faster delivery of new homes. The Social Democrats want to see a new State Housing Delivery Agency that would have a hands-on approach and be able to contract builders and activate publicly-controlled land banks across different local authorities.
“This kind of dedicated agency could achieve economies of scale across housing development sites and that would bring down construction costs. It would also be able to retain know-how and institutional memory that is being lost at the moment.”
Deputy Murphy added:
“Last month we discovered that the dedicated Housing Delivery Office in the Department of Housing has only got four staff. That’s completely inadequate to meet the housing needs the country is facing. As long as this is the case, house prices and rents will continue to rise and become ever more unaffordable. Our housing crisis is a national emergency and the sluggish pace of new builds means the government keeps missing its own targets for the construction of new homes, which are modest to begin with. The government needs to scale up the build significantly and that means moving to war-effort territory.”
1 August 2017