The housing minister has said a report that a fifth (19%) of the population live below the poverty line when housing costs are taken into account is “incorrect”.
Writing in an editorial for the, Darragh O’Brien said the Social Justice Ireland report was “an important insight into the impact of housing costs on the poverty rate in Ireland across a demographic range”. However, he said the claim that government housing plans are largely based on housing assistance payments is false.
“The Housing and Poverty 2022 report refers to Housing For All’s commitment to 90,000 new social housing units, but says half of these will be delivered by the private sector under the Housing Assistance Payment scheme. Housing (HAP) and the Rental Housing Program (RAS), ” he wrote.
Mr O’Brien adds that he ‘strongly believes’ his Housing for All plan ‘will get to the heart of the matter, and there is clear momentum behind it’.
“In the year to September 2021, 30,519 residential units were started, up 40% year-over-year from the same period last year,” he said. -he writes.
“The future looks brighter and I think 2022 will be a year of delivery.”
Mr O’Brien wrote that the SJI report “suggests a number of recommendations in a number of areas of housing policy, many of which I am happy to say are already making progress through Housing For All, our new plan for housing in Ireland”.
However, Colette Bennett of SJI said these proposals were not worked on.
“However, we are pleased that the Minister is interested in doing so, and we look forward to discussing this in more detail.
“There is no evidence to support how the delivery of almost half of the 90,000 social housing units, which are due to be delivered by 2030, will be achieved. Housing For All is committed to delivering an average of 9,500 new housing units per year until 2026, a total of 47,500 housing units Funding for the strategy is also limited to five years.
“This raises the question of how the remaining 42,500 social housing units will be financed and delivered for the remaining duration of the strategy without recourse to the private sector.
“Essentially, the target of 90,000 social housing units is grossly insufficient to meet real needs.”