The government’s flagship housing plan is “nearly there”, the housing minister has claimed.
Darragh O’Brien was responding after reports emerged yesterday that the plan – Housing For All – has been delayed again.
The Housing for All publication, which will determine the State’s housing policy and plans until 2030, was due to be published next Tuesday, but is now not likely to be launched until late August or early September.
Mr O’Brien says the bulk of the work is done, with just five percent of the proposals to be resolved.
“We’re nearly there, it’s very comprehensive, it is fully funded,” he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.
Mr O’Brien said that the plan was not being delayed. It was a cross-Government plan that required all arms of Government to act as one.
Some elements remained that needed to be completed, he said, but it was important to get all the details right.
“To be fair, no one is delaying the plan,” he said.
“It’s an important plan. For the sake of a few weeks, it’s important that we get it done right.”
When asked about social media comments by party colleague Dun Laoghaire TD Cormac Devlin about the delay, the minister said, “Cormac is very passionate and wants to see progress.”
To put the plan together properly required time, he said. It would be only a few weeks more and then the fully funded plan would be published. It would be the “most comprehensive housing plan in decades”.
Mr O’Brien rejected claims that there was infighting between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael about the funding of the plan. It had been reported that Taoiseach Micheál Martin had clashed with the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe about the scale of funding for the plan.
“The funding is locked down,” Mr O’Brien insisted.
Criticism by Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin O Broin was “predictable” he added.
Mr O’Brien said he was more concerned about people who wanted homes. The Housing for All plan would give “absolute stability” to the sector and that was what mattered, that was what was needed. There was real momentum in the building sector.
His colleagues in Government were fully involved, fully aware of the plan and fully in agreement with “everything so far.”
All three party leaders were involved in the plan as were Ministers Michael McGrath and Paschal Donohoe.
“Everyone has been brought along and are fully supportive of this,” he said.