Eoghan Murphy to claim Government exceeded housing target

Barry Cowen and Eoin Ó Broin dispute Minister’s social housing data

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: his figures are disputed by Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen who claims the Government delivered only  743 units in the first nine months of 2017. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: his figures are disputed by Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen who claims the Government delivered only 743 units in the first nine months of 2017. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

 

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy will claim on Monday that the Government has comfortably exceeded its social housing target for 2017.

The target for 2017 was 3,200 new social housing units, and the indications are that Mr Murphy will announce a figure of 4,000.

While no information was available on the actual figure, a briefing paper prepared for the Minister says the “number of social housing homes built in 2017 is more than three times the number built in 2016”.

Just five days ago, Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen claimed the Government had delivered just 743 units in the first nine months of 2017, which suggests the vast majority of builds were completed in the last three months of the year.

There have been ongoing differences between Mr Murphy, Mr Cowen and Sinn Féin spokesman Eoin Ó Broin on the data and the figures, with the Opposition spokespeople disputing the Government’s figures. Much of the disputes involve differences over the inclusion in figures of houses still in the development phase.

The briefing will contend that over 25,000 households had their housing needs met in 2017 and the Government exceeded its target for new social housing supports by over 20 per cent.

“In 2017, 100 new households had their social housing need met each working day of the week,” it said.

Construction figures

It said construction figures from 2017 showed 3,700 new social housing homes being built across 190 sites.

“These are added to on a weekly basis.

“All of this was facilitated by over €1.4 billion of investment of taxpayers’ money, including an additional €100 million provided in December 2017.”

Another figure included in the briefing is the number of new homes that commenced construction in 2017 (as part of the general housing stock). The total was 17,500, said the Department, an increase of a third on 2016.

The Government has said that, in addition to social housing, its aim is to reach a figure of 25,000 new residential homes being built each year.