Michael Fitzmaurice TD has called on the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to improve their systems in order to make it easier for Local Authorities to build much needed housing.
Commenting on the issue Michael Fitzmaurice said “The paltry figures for the building of Local Authority houses around the country are shocking in the midst of a major housing emergency and the fault lies at the systems that exist in the the Department and this has to be addressed immediately”.
“The figures show that in the entire country there were just 2,076 local authority houses built in 2016 and they also show that no local authority houses at all were built in Roscommon, Longford and Leitrim in 2016 which is amazing. Eight other counties have had less then 10 local authority houses built. Remember that the Government target was 15,000, which underlines that we have a major problem that must be sorted out” he said.
“I have to acknowledge that Minister Coveney is doing his best to sort out this crisis but it is clear that we have a serious problem in the Department where their systems to deal with the building of Local Authority houses are not fit for purpose and someone will have to get in there and sort it out as soon as possible. There seems to be more interest in completing drawings and filling out forms than getting the work done. Unless we treat this crisis seriously at all levels there will be no solution any time soon” he said.
“Remember also that apart from anything else, Local Authorities building houses will also create local employment. The Minister will have to oversee the introduction of a system wherby the building of local authority houses can be fast tracked and let’s get on with the work in every county” he concluded.