As I said to Deputy Paul Murphy on the question of funding, next year we will be spending more money to deliver new homes than on housing assistance payments to support people. My Department has published a paper, to which Deputy Boyd Barrett referred, looking at how money can be better used in this area. While new homes are being built and we are trying to get housing output back up to meet the level of social need of which the Deputy has spoken, does it not make sense to support citizens in accessing rental accommodation? The alternative is something neither of us would want to happen, where the level of homelessness increases. That is why the payment is in place.
As more and more homes are built directly by the State next year under the Rebuilding Ireland programme, the number of homes delivered through the housing assistance payment will fall from a peak of 17,000 new units to 10,000 new units in 2021. We are looking to change the mix of how housing needs are met through building new homes via the State and local authorities. While that is under way, however, it is incumbent on us to provide support to citizens who need it now.