More council homes were delivered in Donegal in 2002 than in all of the last 11 years, Donegal TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn has revealed.
The Sinn Féin TD is calling for more government support for Donegal County Council after carrying out research on the numbers of council homes opened from 1994 through to the third quarter of last year.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “In 2002, 560 council homes were built or acquired across Donegal to provide a secure roof over the heads of Donegal families. In stark contrast, only 543 council homes have been built or acquired across the county in the 11 years from the start of 2010 to the end of 2020. This is a shocking failure that has resulted in thousands of Donegal families languishing for years on the council housing list”.
He continued: “From the start of 2000 through to the end of 2009, 2604 council homes were built or acquired across Donegal. Those numbers have collapsed to 543 homes from 2010 through to 2020. In other words, the State delivered five times more council homes in Donegal in the decade from 2000 to 2009 than in the last decade.
“Rather than build council or public homes, the last three governments have paid out huge amounts of public money to private landlords through the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Assistance Scheme.”
MacLochlainn TD added that there are currently over 2,300 families availing of the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Assistance Scheme across Donegal.
“That is over 2,300 families who do not have a permanent and secure roof over their family’s heads. We need to build the council and public homes that these families need,” he said.
“We need a much more ambitious plan to build those homes and we need to get back to the level of council and public homes delivered from 2000 to 2009 and indeed, improve on that. Sinn Féin has clearly outlined how that can be done through our Housing Spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin. This government needs to step up urgently and support Donegal County Council to do just that”.