Government's housing plans criticised over lack of accountability

The new Government is pledging to publish an Action Plan for Housing within 100 days

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An Irish Housing Network protest on Mountjoy Street in Dublin | Image:

The new Government's housing plans are being criticised over a lack of accountability.

The Programme for Government, published yesterday, promises an action plan to end the current crisis within 100 days.

It also promises to “accelerate the delivery” of the €3.8 billion social housing strategy announced in 2014.

Local authorities will now deliver new housing in two phases, with 18,000 extra homes being provided by the end of next year.

First-time buyers will benefit from a “help to buy” scheme to provide “affordable” mortgages.

A cross-party Dáil committee on housing has already started hearing from experts, and has just over a month to produce a report on how the Government should tackle the issue.

But housing expert Dr Pádraic Kenna, from NUI Galway, says the Government proposals do not mention repercussions for any failure to fulfill their promises.

Dr Kenna told Newstalk Breakfast that "the action plan is good, and it involves all the stakeholders. When completed, there will be timelines for each specific organisation.

"But it doesn't actually say what happens if these are not met. Although there's going to be targets, deadlines and a Cabinet review, it doesn't really give anything about how is accountable if these targets are not met," he added.

Yesterday the new Housing Minister Simon Coveney said the housing and homelessness crisis is a 'national emergency'.