Housing targets for Cork councils are not ambitious enough, it has been claimed.
As City Hall confirms they will exceed their target of 361 units for 2018, Cork Solidarity TD Mick Barry has said it would still take ten years to clear the waiting list.
Mr Barry said: “There are nearly 4,000 households on the Cork City Council housing waiting list. At the rate of 360 houses per annum, it would take more than 10 years to clear list even if not a single new household was to join the list for an entire decade.”
The Solidarity TD continued: “Clearly, the housing targets need to be ramped up in a major way with the expansion of the City Boundary next year the land will be available to facilitate this. Government finance must not be a barrier and if it is the council should make no apologies for demanding extra funding.”
The TD, who sits on the Oireachtas Housing Committee, said the City Council needs to aim higher in terms of their targets.
“The council should have the ambition to house everyone on the council waiting list and to cater for new demand within a maximum of five years. Clearly, current targets are not sufficiently ambitious and need to be ramped up in a major way.”
In a statement to the Evening Echo, Cork City Council said the 2018 target of 361 units is to be delivered through construction, acquisition of vacant housing units, social leasing, units delivered in partnership with Approved Housing Bodies and will be located throughout the City.
For the County, the council is set to exceed their target of 416 units across a range of delivery programmes.
“Homes are provided through direct construction, acquisition, refurbishment of voids, Part 5, Capital Assistance Scheme and by the Approved Housing Bodies.”
The new houses will be constructed, acquired as turnkey schemes or through Part 5 in Macroom, Carrigaline, Carrigtwohill, Castletownbere, Youghal, Lismire, Watergrasshill, Bandon, Cobh, Midleton, Mallow, Charleville, Glanmire, Ballyvourney and Skibbereen.
Sinn Féin TD Donnachadh O’Laoghaire agreed that the County plans were also not good enough.
“In my view, the targets are not ambitious enough. I don’t put that down to the council primarily, they are meeting the targets set for them, but Rebuilding Ireland as a whole generally isn't remotely ambitious enough.
“We are in the middle of a crisis, homeless is at record levels, Child homelessness is at record levels, elderly homeless is at record levels. We need major commitment and a radical approach and ambition.
“Sinn Fein would have doubled capital spending on housing in the budget, Government has fallen far short if that while rebuilding Ireland is failing.
“There is good work being done locally by Councils but the pace of delivery slow, the long planning and approval process by Department, which is far too slow and slows the council down.” Mr O’Laoghaire also said that more needed to be done to help those that who do not qualify for social housing.
“There are countless families in this situation in Cork and not a single affordable house has been delivered under any government scheme since Eoghan Murphy was appointed Minister.”