The Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, today (4 February, 2015) announced that his department in conjunction with the Department for Public Expenditure & Reform have approved 200 staff for local authorities.
“These staff will be required to implement the Social Housing Strategy which I announced last November. In order to deliver the ambitious targets in the strategy and the 35,000 new homes promised, local authorities need to ‘tool up’ and staff are key to this,” said Minister Kelly.
The Strategy commits to;
· supplying 35,000 additional social housing units at a cost of €3.8 billion over the next 6 years;
· providing an estimated 29,000 Jobs in construction and promotion of mixed-tenure developments;
· meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through local authority provision via the private rented sector – using Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme;
· reforming social housing delivery and management in Ireland,
· establishing the Dublin Social Housing Delivery Taskforce to respond to the current supply difficulties and focus on the delivery of social housing in the Dublin area, and
· sets out a road map to accommodate everyone on the Housing Waiting Lists by 2020 (90,000 households)
“For the last number of years we have seen LAs deliver little or no social housing due to a lack of resources, and staffing numbers have reduced by around 25%. This is the first major drive for local authority staff recruitment since the recession,” said Minister Kelly.
In order to deliver on the Government’s Social Housing Strategy approximately 200 posts have been approved or approved in principle and will be filled as the need arises.
“The targets in the SHS are ambitious and I need to know that LAs can and will deliver on these targets. I have been meeting LAs for the last number of months to discuss the implementation of the strategy and staffing needs. I will not accept any excuses from LAs at the end of the year or mid strategy that they cannot meet their targets,” added Minister Kelly.
“It should be noted that Posts will be filled through a combination of contract, redeployment and recruitment. The reduction of 400 staff from local authorities’ water services divisions through Irish Water has freed up staff resources to achieve this,” concluded Minister Kelly.
The type of posts covered are mostly Architects, Engineers, Planners, Surveyors, Housing Officers and some additional clerical staff – all at varying grades of seniority ranging from Graduates to Directors of Services.