Since my appointment as Minister, I have met directly with the Chief Executives and Housing Directors of a number of local authorities, as circumstances have allowed and in an appropriate setting, in compliance with Covid restrictions. In that context, I met with the Chief Executive of Meath County Council and members of her housing team on 2 December last, to discuss social housing issues. Their target for 2021 new build delivery is 354 units, however, there may be an impact on delivery against this target arising from the current shutdown in construction activity; this impact is being assessed by my Department and will depend on the duration of the shutdown.
Given the current Covid travel restrictions, I have not been in a position to date to visit Cavan and Monaghan local authorities in person, but I hope to do so when circumstances allow. Their 2021 social build targets are 113 for Cavan and 165 for Monaghan.
I am continuing to meet regularly through video conferencing with representatives of local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and other stakeholders, to press the advancement of our social housing programme. Social housing build targets for 2022 and beyond will be provided to local authorities as part of the Government’s development of a longer-term housing strategy, based on the Programme for Government committment to increase the social housing stock by more than 50,000.
As well as my own direct contacts with our local authorities, officials of my Department also meet regularly with their local authority counterparts, to examine progress on social housing programmes.