A Clare Sinn Féin local election candidate is hitting out at the government for ‘celebrating’ – even though it failed to hit its target for social housing last year.
The Department of Housing has revealed that more than 4,250 social homes were built in 2018, which is 4% below what had been expected.
It comes as figures released locally show that around 2,800 people are on Clare’s social housing waiting list, as Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:
Last year, 4,251 social homes joined the housing stock in Ireland – a figure the government says is an 85% increase on the amount of new builds in 2017.
In addition, there were 5,000 social houses under construction as of December.
It means the government has fallen 4% short of its own target, set out in the Rebuilding Ireland plan.
Nevertheless, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy says the plan is working, but admits more needs to be done.
Despite the optimism among some in Leinster House, the news has been heavily criticised elsewhere.
Figures released just this week by Clare County Council show that there’s almost 2,800 people on the county’s social housing waiting list now, with almost half of those people in Ennis alone.
However, the local authority actually exceeded its social housing target last year, with 203 new homes coming on stream, versus the 164 expected.
But Sinn Féin’s Donna McGettigan, who is running in the Ennis Municipal District in the local elections, says it’s not good enough.
Elsewhere, the local authority’s figures also show that in Shannon, 267 people are awaiting a social house, 95 in Killaloe and 143 in Kilrush.
At the end of January, the council also says 1,350 housing applicants were supported in private rented accommodation through the Housing Assistance Payment scheme.