We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Minister O'Brien said the figures reflected the momentum which his Department had built since 2022. Alamy Stock Photo
housing for all

Government missed last year's social and affordable housing targets by 2,680 homes

Micheál Martin defended the figures by claiming that the social housing figures larger than “anything ever achieved”.

THE GOVERNMENT FELL 2,680 homes shy of their social and affordable housing targets for last year.

The affordable housing delivery statistics were published by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien today and show that while the State did deliver more homes last year, compared to the year before, it failed to meet the target it set for itself.

Speaking in Dublin today, Tánaiste Micheál Martin defended the figures by claiming that the social housing figures larger than “anything ever achieved” by the current Government.

The final quarter delivery statistics show that the final number of social homes delivered by local councils and approved housing bodies last year reached 11,939.

This included 8,110 new-build homes, 1,830 acquisitions and 1,999 homes through leasing programmes.

Despite representing a 16.3% increase in delivery compared to last year, the delivery fell short by 1,191 social houses, which Ministers set for themselves in their Programme for Government.

The final figure of affordable homes delivered in 2023 was 4,011. While representative of more than double than the previous year, according to the Department for Housing, the target for last year was 5,500.

In total, the state were 2,680 homes short of meeting their targets.

‘The targets are there and the targets are meant to stretch us’

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien celebrated the figures, adding they reflected the momentum which his Department had built since 2022.

He attributed the 16.3% increase in delivery to his Department’s improved engagement with relevant stakeholders such as the local authorities and their management offices.

“This has enabled us to identify blockages in the system that we have worked hard to systematically remove around areas such as funding for additional staff, enhancements to the approvals process and legacy debt issues,” the housing minister said.

“It is now clear to see where those efforts have started to materialise into delivery at the scale that is required.”

Challenged by reporters in Dublin today about the figures, Tánaiste Micheál Martin highlighted that the numbers reflect “an incredible turnaround from where we were three years ago”.

“We were nowhere near 11,000 social houses delivered and yes, the targets are there and the targets are meant to stretch us and we want to go out and achieve them,” Martin added.

IMG_2446 Tánaiste Micheál Martin (centre) during a press conference at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Dublin today. Muiris O'Cearbhaill / The Journal Muiris O'Cearbhaill / The Journal / The Journal

The Tánaiste said that he believes the Government can exceed the targets this year and increase the overall housing delivery to “40,000 plus” within the next two years with the introduction of modern construction methods.

“The key thing for us in housing is to keep the momentum going,” he added.

The figures were published on the same day that a record 4,170 children were confirmed to be accommodated in emergency housing last month. Focus Ireland CEO, Pat Dennigan, said the targets are “woefully inadequate”.

“Meeting that target is not good enough as it is widely accepted that Ireland now requires more than 50,000 new homes each year to effectively tackle the housing crisis,” Dennigan said.

“There has been a welcome rise in the provision of social housing in the last year but at the same time there has been a rise in homelessness as not enough of this housing is being used to provide homes for families and individuals who are homeless.”

This call was echoed by Sinn Féin TD and party spokesperson for housing Eoin Ó Broin, who attributed the rise in homelessness to the Government’s social and affordable housing targets being “too low and are being missed every single year”.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel