16th May 14: Commenting today on the Government’s construction stimulus plan, Leader of the Fianna Fail Group on Dublin City Council, Mary Fitzpatrick said “I have reviewed this stimulus plan and it makes for fanciful reading at best. When you consider that, with a budget of €114 million for 3 years or €38 million per year, Dublin City Council will deliver just 422 units over three years to meet a social housing list of 20, 000 or approximately 1% of demand. A construction stimulus package investing €50 million to be allocated in social housing nationally by 2020 is totally inadequate. That equates to €8.3 million per year on a national basis. It is unclear to me whether it is incompetence or ignorance that has delivered a plan that does not bear any relationship to the social housing need – and heralds jobs in the construction industry when in reality, by the time planning permission is sought, approved and construction is complete those on the social housing list will not get the keys to these properties for at least 2 year”.
Cllr Fitzpatrick said “This comes in the same week as we hear that the Government is planning to cut investment in council housing in Dublin City Council by almost 50% in 2015 and 2016. This cannot go on. This Government is presiding over and perpetuating a major housing crisis. The huge social housing need and associated societal problems is resulting in increasing numbers of homelessness in Dublin. This stimulus plan offers no hope to those in need of a home, it is not worth anything to those in desperate need of social housing or indeed to those unemployed in the construction sector today. The Government is a disgrace for trying to exploit this real housing crisis in an effort to try to generate positive media headlines a week before local and European elections. They should be ashamed of themselves for failing to address this real and immediate housing crisis”.