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  • Northside East

Council well ahead of housing target 

Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018 1:00pm
Council well ahead of housing target 

Fingal County Council is ahead of its housing target by 63 per cent.

Council well ahead of housing target 

Fingal County Council is ahead of its housing target by 63 per cent.

FINGAL County Council is ahead of its target for the 2015-2020 period of the Rebuilding Ireland programme by 63 per cent. 

The council has delivered 2,241 social housing homes over the past three years having been set a delivery output target of 1,376 by central government for the first phase of the housing strategy.

The homes were delivered through construction, acquisitions, leasing and renting and the figure of 2,241 does not include homes approved for delivery. 

The three-year delivery figure represents an investment of €151 million, which is 86 per cent greater than the council’s initial allocation of €81 million from central government.

Director of Housing and Community at the council, Margaret Geraghty, presented the figures to councillors at a meeting last week in County Hall, Swords.  

“When we were given our target in April 2015, it looked a daunting task because it required a considerable amount of scaling up from what had been happening in the previous decade,” said Ms Geraghty.  

“However, our staff, assisted by our councillors and the Approved Housing Bodies we work with, rose to the challenge and worked very hard over the past three years to deliver the target and eventually exceed it by almost 60 per cent.

“We are acutely aware that there is still a lot more to be done to reduce the numbers on our housing list, as well as the numbers presenting as homeless, but our performance over the last three years shows that we are fully committed to doing that and our pipeline for the next three years also reflects this.”

The council has been given a target of providing 5,084 social housing homes in the six years to 2020. The meeting was told that delivery mechanisms such as the Rent Assistance Scheme (RAS) and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) can no longer be used towards meeting the final target.  

That means that the council will have to supply the remaining 2,833 homes from its construction, acquisition and leasing programmes.

“It is another massive challenge but it reflects the demand for social housing within Fingal and also the change in social housing building policy which the Minister announced at the Housing Summit last September,” said Ms Geraghty. 

“We have a lot of plans in place so the focus will now be on getting those plans through the various statutory processes, securing the necessary funding from central government and bringing the projects to fruition.

“Because we weren’t building social housing prior to the commencement of the programme in 2015, it has naturally taken us some time to get our construction programme up and running.”

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley, said: “The provision of housing is the biggest challenge currently facing the council and I am delighted we are ahead of our target under the Rebuilding Ireland programme. 

“The final target can be achieved if everybody works together to not only provide new homes but also the infrastructure that will allow communities to grow and prosper.”

Fingal County Council chief executive Paul Reid, said paid tribute to the Director of Housing and Community and her team.

Mr Reid said they have done an excellent job over the past three years in delivering over 2,200 social housing homes across the Fingal as well as dealing with an increasing numbers of presentations.

“The housing issue is not just the responsibility of one department within Fingal County Council as many other departments are also involved and they have all made significant contributions over the past three years.”

 

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