Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Working for Donegal

Social houses built or purchased in Donegal last year meets only 6% of the real housing need in the county

Posted on: Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Social houses built or purchased in Donegal last year meets only 6% of the real housing need in the county

“Government needs to wake up to the housing crisis in Donegal”- Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn has slammed the Government’s social housing policy in Donegal.

According to the Department of Housing just 74 social houses owned and managed by Donegal County Council and Approved Housing Bodies were built in Donegal in 2018 and an additional 79 houses were purchased by both the council and Approved Housing Bodies making a total of 153 social houses delivered last year.

“Given that there are approximately 2,500 households with a long term housing need in Donegal including families on the council housing waiting list and families availing of housing supports such as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) or the Rental Assistance Scheme (RAS), it is clear that the Governments social housing targets for Donegal under Rebuilding Ireland will come nowhere near meeting existing or new demand. Indeed the number of houses built or purchased this year in Donegal is at only 6% of the real housing need in the county.

“The 2018 figures also confirms once again the Governments over reliance on private rented sector to meet social housing need. And this huge over reliance in Donegal on the private sector to house families has squeezed the numbers of properties available to rent, pushed up rental costs for tenants across the county and increased pressure on other working families not able to avail of housing assistance payments.

Further, it is getting more and more difficult for families to source landlords that will accept Housing Assistance Payments.

The Government needs to wake up to the scale of the housing crisis across Donegal. For the government to make a real dent in the housing crisis it needs to dramatically increase capital investment in social and affordable housing. We need to see more investment and more ambitious targets.

Also in Donegal, the council needs to urgently bring councillors, planners, architects and building contractors together to re-examine the housing zoning policies across many towns and villages across the county. ”

ENDS

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