The Workers’ Party have said that the failure of the country’s local authorities to meet minimal construction targets belongs at the door of the government and of Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in particular.
Cork Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said the minister could not expect local authorities to reach even these insignificant targets because he had not provided the funds to build the houses and the government has consistently refused to countenance a major fully funded public housing construction programme of the type required.
Cllr. Tynan said:”Minister Murphy has set local authorities a task he knows they will not be able to fulfil and which depend on funds that do not exist and a total reliance on the private sector and approved housing bodies. “The only solution that will work is the one the government had set its face totally against – that of publicly built, publicly delivered housing construction”.
He said the government’s failure to provide the necessary funding was underlined by recent suggestions that authorities like Cork City Council may consider seeking loan finance from the European Investment Bank. “It seems that when it comes to private development the sky is the limit and public funds are readily available for pet private projects like the Cork Events Centre but the notion of funding large-scale public housing construction is anathema to this government and its Fianna Fáil shadow”
The Mayfield based Workers Party councillor said that none of this absolves the local authorities of their slavish adherence to the government’s agenda and their hand in glove relationship with private developers. Both housing officials and the majority of councillors continue to oppose alternatives such as the Solidarity Housing programme proposed by the Workers’ Party.
“The private sector appears to have a total veto over any programme that would threaten its domination of housing construction while housing associations are at best an unreliable stop gap solution”, said Cllr. Tynan.