Threshold, the national housing organisation, today called on the Government to end its silence on a recent housing report made by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). The report recommends that the government provide 73,000 social housing units between 2005 and 2012. This would involve a doubling of existing social housing build by local authorities to over 10,000 units per year.
The recommendation is contained in the much anticipated NESC report ‘Housing in Ireland: Performance and Policy’ published last December.
The Government has yet to comment on the report and there has been little or no debate about the issues raised. Threshold is concerned that the report and its recommendations are being shelved.
The report also states that the Government fell 9% behind its own local authority building targets between 2000 and 2004.
Aiden Hayden, Chair of Threshold, said:
“We are surprised at the Government’s silence on the important recommendations contained in this report.
The NESC housing report confirms what Threshold has been saying for some time – that social housing output needs to be doubled to deal with the housing crisis. We believe the situation for people in housing need is getting worse and not better.
The Government has budgeted to provide just 5,500 local authority houses in 2005, half of what NESC say is needed. It is time for the Government to get serious about housing poverty and embrace the targets set out by the NESC as the minimum required.
We are concerned that this report does not linger on the shelf gathering dust like many in the past. We are therefore calling on the Minister for the Environment, Mr. Dick Roche, to make a statement and to unequivocally support the report’s recommendations to increase social housing build.”
Notes to Editor:
The NESC Report was launched on 15 December 2004 and the full report, executive summary and recommendations may be downloaded from www.nesc.ie
The recommendation to increase social housing build is on page 221 of the full report.
The statement that Government has fallen 9% behind in local authority housing build is on page 145.