Councils and the housing crisis

 

Sir, – I had to have a double-take and read again the headline “Murphy says granting more housing powers to councils reckless” (News, September 19th).

This coming from a Minister who has presided over the biggest housing and homelessness crisis in our country and who heads a department that is not fit for purpose.

The truth is that when councils had the power and resources to deliver social housing, we did. It is since those powers and resources have been centralised in the department that the crisis has grown.

The only new social homes in the constituency of Dublin Bay South that the Minister represents were 19 new homes that opened in January.

These were first proposed by me about ten years ago and repeatedly blocked by the mandarins and systems operating in the Custom House.

If The Irish Times wants to know something about the real blocks on delivering social housing, a critical examination of the role of the Minister and the Department of Housing must be central. The truth is that the department is indifferent to our housing crisis, ignorant of our planning needs and hostile to local government. Its very existence is a problem for our country. – Yours, etc,

Cllr DERMOT LACEY,

(Labour),

Donnybrook,

Dublin 4.