Housing crisis: Minister is accused of ‘playing with figures’ in action plan

Sinn Féin has accused Housing Minister Simon Coveney of “playing around with figures” in his Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

The party’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said it was “certainly better” than a plan to provide social housing by former minister Alan Kelly.
But he claimed: “The minister’s playing around with figures. It’s not a €2.2bn increase. It’s probably more like €1.4bn over the course… and while it will result in an increase in social housing, it will be nowhere near enough to tackle the level of crisis that’s out there.”

Mr Coveney disputed Mr Ó Broin’s analysis, saying that the previous proposal had capital spending plans of €3.1bn and his will see funding of €5.3bn, an extra €2.2bn.

Mr O Broin said Mr Coveney would have his “full congratulations” if plans to keep homeless families out of emergency accommodation were successful. The plan commits to ensuring that by mid-2017 hotels are only used in “limited circumstances” for such families.
Read More: Coveney stakes reputation on fixing the housing crisis

Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan welcomed the plan, but warned there would be “real challenges” in getting the funding spent. She said: “Any examination of the snail’s pace at which money allocated to local authorities for social housing gets turned into actual houses will show the problem is far from as simple as fast-tracking the planning process.”
People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett said the plan to provide 47,000 social housing units was “derisory” and “will barely, if at all, keep pace with the new applicants coming on to the housing list”. He added: “My prediction is that the housing lists will be longer at the end of the period of this plan.”

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