Clare Sinn Féin TD Violet-Anne Wynne has responded to the reporting that Clare County Council have only delivered 74 social housing units in 2020– mainly in Ennis, Kilmihil and Sixmilebridge.
Teachta Wynne saids: “It’s becoming increasingly self-evident that the Government’s capital investment programme is not delivering the change needed to remedy the housing crisis. Clare Council is set to receive €1.7mn. in funding to refurbish and re-let 119 vacant local authority homes across the county this year, which should take some of the pressure off direct build for social housing which as we know has not yielded the results needed in a timely manner.
“2019 saw 77 units completed – some are built from scratch; some are bought by the Council directly and others are leased. 3 less units were delivered in 2020, even though demand has increased. This gradual rate of social housing provision will not be able to have a significant impact on the housing crisis.
“The stream of social housing that has been provided over the last few years in Clare, has been piecemeal and does not stand a chance to eradicate housing insecurity faced by hundreds of people and families across the county.
“This April Clare Co. Co. received 110 social housing applications, the highest since October 2018. They insist they are making strong progress on their capital programme and has roughly 300 units at various stages of delivery at present. Yet the number of incoming applications remains at an average of 800 per year. Why is demand staying the same if supply is increasing?
“There are 1,300 people on the waiting list as of April 2021. The unjustifiably low number of new social houses being delivered; 74 in 2020, 77 in 2019 and just 6 built in the 3 years prior, is shocking.
“There isn’t appropriate step-down accommodation for women in emergency accommodation; or for people trying to transition from homeless accommodation. There is a shortage of adequate Traveller Accommodation. There is a shortage of accessible housing for Disabled People who want to transition from congregated/residential settings and live independently in the community. There is a lack of social housing from asylum seekers who will according to the Programme for Government be accommodated in line with an own-door policy by 2024.
“All around this Government’s housing policy is failing all of the people most in need and allowing rents to sky-rocket and locking out a generation of young people from becoming homeowners. Sinn Féin’s ‘Housing for All’ policy includes a mandate to double up on yearly capital investment, from €1.4bn. to €2.8bn, for social and affordable housing.
We believe 20,000 units need to be delivered each year and we know we could do that if in Government. Radical change is the only way to genuinely correct the broken and ineffective housing sector in this country,” Deputy Wynne added.