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Home / News / Minister for Housing defends record on housing in Dáíl

Minister for Housing defends record on housing in Dáíl

The Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien and Sinn Féin’s Housing Spokesperson have traded barbs in the Dáil over housing.

Eoin Ó Broin said “for the fourth year since you’ve taken office, you’ve missed all of your affordable housing topics…can you explain…why you’ve missed those targets and what you’ll do to ensure they’ll be reached?”

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said under Housing for All, he had targeted the delivery of 54,000 houses. He said the targets were ambitious, as they came from a base of zero.

In 2023, over 4,000 housing supports were delivered across the country, and while it did not meet the target, it was more than a 100% increase.

Minister O’Brien said activity had doubled in the sphere of affordable housing so far this year.

“On affordable housing, I’ve seen nothing from Sinn Féin on alternatives and our plan is taking hold and is working,” the minister said.

Mr Ó Broin (below) said the Minister’s response was Orwellian, saying the Government’s affordable housing scheme had missed its own targets by 63%.

Eoin Ó Broin

He said the way the Minister presented the figures to the public was misleading.

Minister for Nature Malcolm Noonan said the Planning Bill was progressing well and that new Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Alan Dillon, would assist in its delivery.

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said people across the country were “crying out for housing”.

She said the fact that revised housing targets would not be announced until the autumn was not urgent enough.

Deputy Bacik said the former taoiseach Leo Varadkar had admitted six months ago that the targets were too low.

Minister Noonan said they had to use an evidence-based approach based on population growth, including census data.

He said the upwards trajectory would continue, but they could not put a figure out until capacity was built into the system.

He said research by the ESRI would inform that decision.

“It’s now a year since your Government took the disastrous decision to end the ban on no-fault eviction,” said Mr Ó Broin.

He said there had been a 13% increase in homelessness and 16% rise in homelessness among children since then.

Minister O’Brien called it “the single most important challenge that we face”.

He said almost 12,000 new social homes were delivered last year, including 8,110 new builds, describing it as a “very good performance” – and the highest delivery in 50 years.

Mr Ó Broin said the Minister’s targets were too low, so homelessness was rising.

He said 9,527 homes had not been delivered, saying every single promise on housing had been broken.

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