THE construction of 400 new homes in Cork has been dismissed as a 'drop in the ocean' in terms of tackling the city's need for housing.
Cllr Thomas Gould, leader of Sinn Féin on Cork City Council, said that the new homes will not come close to solving the housing shortages in the city.
However, the Lord Mayor Des Cahill has hit back at Mr Gould, accusing him of putting a negative spin on a positive story by “giving out” from the sidelines.
Yesterday, Cork City Council confirmed that more than 400 units will be under construction by May.
This includes projects at Gerald Griffin Street, Skehard Road, White Street, Barrack Street and Wood Street.
Housing Minister Simon Coveney was in the city to unveil a number of the new developments, including Sheridan Park on the Tramore Road.
It is part of a €97 million investment in the city's housing stock that will deliver more than 1,300 homes through various schemes, including returning vacant and derelict properties to use and social leasing.
However, Mr Gould said that the city needs thousands of new builds over the coming years, not hundreds.
Figures issued at the city's housing functional meeting yesterday showed that there are now 4,864 people on the city's housing waiting list.
While the local authority allocated 24 houses in January, 74 new applicants came on the list.
Mr Gould said, "I am deeply disappointed that this is the best that Minister Coveney and the Department of Environment could come up with. These houses will be delivered at the end of 2018 and the start of 2019, by which time there will be more than 400 additional people on the waiting list. It's not enough."
However, the Lord Mayor of Cork Des Cahill dismissed Mr Gould's suggestions.
Cllr Des Cahill said, "To meet the people that these houses will benefit was a great experience.
"It is easy to stand on the sidelines and give out but between now and twelve months time, about 1000 families will benefit from these investments.
"That can only be good news," he added.