Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has blasted the governments planned spending on social housing next year.

The Dublin Mid West TD was commenting on figures received in response to parliamentary questions which revealed over €800m is set to be spent on rental subsidies with only €789m given to councils in 2020.

Between the various schemes including Rent Supplement, Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and long-term leases via the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP) the government is set to spend €806.3m, compared to the €789m allocated to Local Authorities for the build and acquisition of new social homes. 

“The figures I received in response to parliamentary questions confirm that the government will spend more on social housing rental subsidy schemes next year than it will give directly to Local Authorities to build and buy real social houses,” Deputy O Broin said.

“The State will spend €133m on RAS, €502.7m on HAP, €94.6m on rent supplement and approximately 40% of funding allocated to SCHEP will be spent on long term leasing private sector leases totalling €76m.

“Taken together the government has allocated €806.3m of taxpayers money subsiding social housing tenants in the private rented sector.

“In contrast, Government is only giving Local Authorities €789m to build and buy homes for social housing. The State is giving more money to private landlords than to Local Authorities

”The Government has its priorities all wrong.

“Local Authorities should be the primary driver of social housing delivery. Unfortunately Fine Gael continue to over rely on the private sector to meet social housing need.

“This is the fourth year of Rebuilding Ireland and this government is still not building enough homes required, while putting increased pressure on the private rental market which is already over inflated.

“We need to see the inverse happen. The government must prioritise investment in real social and affordable homes, not in subsidies for private landlords.”