Limerick TDs put social housing builds under microscope in Dáil

Limerick Independent Ireland TD Richard O'Donoghue

A LACK of communication between a local landowner and Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) is at the heart of badly-needed homes being built, according to Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy O’Donoghue said that he had received a note when entering the Oireachtas from a man who claimed to have five sites in County Limerick with full planning permission.

“He has offered them to Limerick City and County Council numerous times but has heard nothing back,” Deputy O’Donoghue claimed.

The Limerick TD said that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien “has stated councils are fully funded to facilitate the purchase of houses made available for social and affordable homes”.

The person to whom I refer is willing to build the houses if the council wants him to do so and give them back to the council at an agreed price before building starts.

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He is not a builder, but he said he would build houses in a town in Limerick which could house five people in affordable housing. The local authority has not contacted him, despite being contacted on numerous occasions.

Five houses could be built in a town in Limerick to house five people, but the local authority is doing nothing about it,” Deputy O’Donoghue claimed.

The TD further claimed that he has spoken to local authorities on multiple occasions regarding sites open to them to purchase where developers “could not afford to build” on their own steam, suggesting a council-funded alternative.

“They have not got back to anyone. We have a housing crisis. Why are local authorities not held accountable for not taking up these houses? What is going on?

Will the Minister look into this if I bring him these individual cases, in particular the five sites for affordable housing? They could be built at a cost that would be acceptable to the State.”

In response, Minister of State at the Department of Housing and Local Government, Kieran O’Donnell, told members that there has been a large number of homes delivered in terms of social and affordable housing throughout the last year.

“More than 10,263 social houses were completed last year. They were not all purchased. There were 7,433 new builds, the highest in many years. There were 960 acquisitions and 1,870 leases. Ask anyone who wants social housing. They are not concerned whether the house they are being provided with is built by a local authority or leased or acquired,” he said.