O’Callaghan says O’Brien is “out of his depth” as Minister for HousingMike Finnerty 03 Jan 2024
Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan has said that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is “hopelessly out of his depth.”
The Social Democrats housing spokesperson said that O’Brien is “incapable of meeting the Government’s own targets.”
The Quarter 3 Affordable Housing Report showed that just 159 affordable purchase and 56 cost rental homes were built in that time period, which failed to put a dent in the 5,500 homes promised by the Department of Housing in 2023.
“These figures were quietly published online without any press release, with the Minister seemingly hoping his astonishingly poor delivery of affordable homes would go unnoticed,” the Dublin Bay North TD Said.
“This miserable total of just 215 affordable homes represents less than 4% of the target delivered in the first nine months of 2023.”
“This glacial pace of delivery is of little use to the more than half a million adults stuck living in their childhood bedrooms or to the 13,000 people in emergency homeless accommodation.”
O’Callaghan asserted that housing targets set out by the Department of Housing were not ambitious enough to begin with.
“Homelessness and rents are at record levels while the home ownership rate is at its lowest level in over 50 years,” he said.
He said that money isn’t necessarily an issue in this context, it is O’Brien’s management style that is a problem.
“The scale of under-delivery is inexcusable when you consider that the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, has failed to spend €70 million that was supposed to build affordable homes and has now been reallocated elsewhere.”
“It is clearly not a lack of money that is stopping us building the affordable homes we desperately need. Rather, it is disastrous mismanagement by this Government and Minister for Housing,” he said.
“We need affordable housing targets that reflect the scale of this crisis and a government that is capable of delivering.”
“With each quarter of poor delivery and missed targets, it is becoming increasingly clear that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil cannot lead us out of a housing crisis that is of their own making.”