'Significant majority' of local authorities reported to have not spent social housing budget

It is claimed that the authorities do not have the capacity to use the funds they are being given

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A 'significant majority' of local authorities have not spent their social housing budget, according to reports.

€1.7 billion was set aside by the Government for the 2015-2017 period.

However, The Irish Examiner claims problems between the Department of the Environment and local councils mean that targets for spending on housing are being missed.

The paper also reports that the local authorities do not have the capacity to use the funds they are being given.

Yesterday, the Master of the High Court said the Government must assert its right to address the housing crisis, regardless of Europe's fiscal rules.

He suggested that a solution could be the use of compulsory purchase orders for the immediate seizure of vacant properties.

Edmund Honohan was attending the Dáil's new housing committee.

The cross-party committee has just over a month to produce a report on how the Government should tackle the issue.