Minister to announce 1,000 new social housing units

Alan Kelly expected to announce that 13,000 units have already been delivered, but Fianna Fáil says numbers are off

Newstalk, Minister, Environment Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly, social housing, Simon Communities of Ireland, rental, buyer, developer, land, zone, government, General Election, #GE16

Rollingnews.ie

Updated 12.00

A thousand extra social housing units will be announced later today, when Minister Alan Kelly publishes the 2015 social housing progress report.

He is also expected to disclose that 13,000 social housing units have been delivered through a variety of schemes, including the refurbishment of voided units and new builds. 

Fianna Fáil's demanding clear explanations from the Environment Minister on the number of social houses delivered last year.

Spokesman Barry Cowen says the numbers don't add up:

"He throws figures out and he has nothing to substantiate them. His 13,000 is out, he is wrong, it is actually 11,000. And very few of them were built. Ten local authorities built no houses for the last 2.5 years. Is he proud of that?

They are the questions you need to be asking him, because the electorate are asking them of us."

Zoned land

Dr Pádraic Kenna, Lecturer in Housing at NUI Galway, told Newstalk.com's Breakfast that the lack of zoned building land is a real problem in terms of supply:

"Developers, whether it is social housing developers or private housing developers, need a screed of land to be made available, not just one year thing and this question of making development land available seems to be to have been kicked off the agenda completely."

Meanwhile, the Simon Communities of Ireland have published a review of the rental market showing some 95% of advertised rental properties are out of the financial reach of people in receipt of rent supplement.