The Galway Social Housing Taskforce, which I established earlier this year, has held two meeting to date and its third meeting is scheduled to take place in early October. The Taskforce is working to improve and accelerate housing delivery in both local authority areas. Its establishment mirrors a Taskforce established in Cork a number of years ago, which has provided a hugely successful framework through which new build social housing delivery across the 2 Cork local authority areas has increased more than tenfold in the 2 years to 2018.
Of the 50,000 social housing homes to be delivered nationally through build, acquisitions and leasing in the period to 2021, the Galway Councils have a combined target of just over 2,000. While good progress has been made to date nationally, I want to see this replicated uniformly across the country, particularly in key locations such as Galway.
The Chair of the Taskforce recently wrote to me and updated me on the work of the Taskforce. She confirmed that both local authorities were intensively involved in the Taskforce’s work and that it is providing them with an important opportunity for direct, roundtable dialogue with my Department, the Housing Agency and the Approved Housing Body sector, so that each Galway authority can be supported in building the momentum essential for expanded delivery. The Chair also advised that achieving the necessary levels of delivery will take focus, time and continuing prioritisation, but all participants in the Taskforce are committed to the Government’s housing targets.
In relation to the minutes of the Taskforce, the secretariat for the Taskforce is provided by Galway City Council and I have asked my Department to liaise with the Council in relation to the publication of those minutes.