Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has expressed concern after it was revealed that the Government has massively underspent its budget for social and affordable housing.
The figures were provided to party spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, by the Department of Housing, confirming a €1 billion underspend in the capital budget for social and affordable housing from 2020 to 2023.
Deputy Brady said:
“New figures provided to Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD by the Department of Housing show that from 2020 to 2022 Darragh O’Brien’s Department underspent its capital budget by €1,517,999.
“Of particular concern is that €1,004,926 of the underspend is from the capital budget for social and affordable housing delivery.
“This is shocking at a time of rising homelessness and a deepening housing crisis.
“The unspent capital funding could have delivered at least an additional 4,000 social and affordable homes. This could have made a huge difference here in Wicklow, where the effects of the housing crisis are clear to see.
“The level of red tape and delay imposed on Local Authorities and Approved Housing bodies by the Department of Housing and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is the key problem.
“Local Authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and opposition politicians have been highlighting this problem for years, yet the Minister for Housing has refused to act. The government’s incompetence has resulted in a billion euros of much needed housing funding unspent, at least 4,000 public homes not built and thousands of people homeless as a result.
“It is clear that the government is totally failing to get to grips with the housing crisis. People across Wicklow are trapped in cramped housing, paying sky high rents, and giving up hope of ever owning their own home. The government’s cruel decision to end the eviction ban with no plan in place to support the people affected will only worsen these issues in Wicklow in the coming weeks and months.
“Every day that this government continues in office, they cause more and more damage to the lives of people affected by the housing crisis. People in Wicklow deserve better, and they need a government willing to end the housing crisis by delivering genuinely affordable homes.”