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Eoin Ó Broin and Pearse Doherty today in the Dáil.

Sinn Féin clashes with Tánaiste over delivery of social and affordable housing targets

A heated exchange took place in the Dáil today during Leaders’ Questions.

SINN FÉIN HAS accused the Government of being dishonest in its portrayal of housing figures following the publication of the latest social and affordable housing report.

Following the publication of the report yesterday, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said he was pleased that current pipeline figures indicate that this year’s delivery of social homes is set to exceed last year’s output – which was the highest level of delivery since 1975. 

However, the figures indicate that the Government is at risk of missing its targets for delivery of social and affordable housing.

In the first 9 months of 2023, 4,815 new social homes were delivered (2,642 of these new-builds) by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies. The target for the year is 9,100.

The Department of Housing has pointed out that traditionally, the bulk of social housing delivery is achieved in Q4.

It said this was the case in 2022 when 10,263 social homes were delivered – the highest annual output of social homes in decades.

However, Sinn Féin has said the figures show that the Government is missing its social and affordable housing targets.

“Whatever way you look at it Darragh O’Brien is missing his inadequate social and affordable housing targets. The consequence is rising rents, rising house prices and rising homelessness,” Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said last night.

Raising the figures during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty told Micheál Martin: “Your housing targets are far too low Tánaiste and still you are failing to deliver on them.”

In response, the Tánaiste said “quoting quarter three figures is not an accurate depiction of reality and what will transpire by the end of the year”. 

Things got heated when Eoin Ó Broin began to interject before being told by the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl: “Deputy Ó Broin, leaders’ questions have got nothing to do with you, you have to wait until you’re leader.”

After Ó Broin and Doherty continued to interrupt the Tánaiste, Ó Fearghaíl ordered Doherty to resume his seat adding: 

“Good god, we have visitors in the house – could we at least behave ourselves?”

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