Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Minister for Housing has defended four local authorities that failed to build social homes last year.

Darragh O’Brien said councils are not the sole providers of social housing, which are also built by approved housing bodies.

Local councils in Kildare, Galway City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Longford built no social housing last year.

However, Mr O’Brien said approved housing bodies provided a considerable number of these homes.

“We’ve said it very clearly we need homes from both [local authorities and approved housing bodies] – they’re all social homes,” he told Newstalk radio.

“We’ve found already that in Dublin and Cork in particular that 50 per cent of the social housing will be delivered by the approved housing sector. And they do really, really well. Last year, they had a record year in social housing delivery. They’re delivering affordable cost rental for the first time.”

It comes after Mr O’Brien gave local authorities individual targets for social housing purchases as the Government looks to recover after missing its goal for new-build homes last year.

Last month the Minister brought a memo to Cabinet on increasing the delivery of social housing this year – including an overall target for social housing acquisitions of 1,500 nationally.

A social housing acquisition occurs when a landlord issues a notice to quit to a tenant who is in receipt of housing assistance or rental allowance payments from the State. The local authorities then purchase the property and bring it into the stock of social housing.

Some 10,263 social homes were delivered in 2022 through build, acquisition and leasing, the Government confirmed last month.

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