Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien has said that he can't be expected to solve the housing crisis in a two-year period.
Next week he will face a motion of no confidence put forward by People Before Profit, a party that believes the housing crisis has only worsened since Minister O’Brien’s appointment in 2020.
Speaking to The Anton Savage Show, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage said that progress is being made to tackle the "many challenges" facing the country.
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said: “It’s absolutely clear that the Government’s approach to housing is a complete failure."
The accusation came as "no real surprise" to Minister O'Brien.
"He's good at giving out, he's good at shouting", he said.
"He has yet to bring him or his party any single constructive proposal in relation to tackling the housing challenge."
The Minister said he wanted to remind opposition TDs with their job is to "work in the interest of the people".
In November, the number of people in emergency accommodation surpassed 11,000 for the first time.
Rents have increased four-and-a-half times faster in Ireland than in Europe over the last decade.
"Anyone who assesses the situation in a fair manner would understand that I was never going to be able to turn this around in a year or two years", Minister O'Brien explained.
"The housing plan that the government has brought forward, Housing for All, is just over a year old."
He said that building houses is "the single biggest issue" facing the government.
"The good news this year is that we'll well exceed the target that we set for this year of 24,600 [homes]", he said.
"We'll deliver well over 10,000 new social homes, which is the largest amount in decades."
Minister O'Brien said the government's housing plan is "fully-backed financial".
Nearly €500m of the Government’s €4 billion housing budget for the first nine months of the year has not been spent.
According to Minister O'Brien, no opposition party has presented "any comparable, comprehensive housing plan".
"What Sinn Féin is proposing is to build more houses with less", he said.
"In relation to public funds for public housing, that's exactly what we're doing."
"I think what the people want to see is not the political back and forth necessarily but people want to see progress."
Listen back to the full conversation here.
Main image shows The Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien arrives at Dublin Castle for Cabinet, 21-07-2020. Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo