The Conniberry Estate, the only council estate under construction in Portlaoise.
A Laois Sinn Féin TD has hit out at Government's housing plan saying it will see just 84 new council homes built in Laois where there are 1,800 on the waiting list.
Speaking in the Dáil during a Motion on Affordable Housing, Brian Stanley TD said there is a 'crisis' in his constituency.
“Right across the country and in Laois the housing crisis is all too evident. "We see the absence of affordable housing with people pushed out of the rental sector due to ever rising prices and denied the opportunity to buy a home or avail of social housing.
"In Laois the local authority has plans to build only 36 houses in Portlaoise, 10 in Ballyroan, 6 in Mountrath, 10 in Mountmellick and 22 in Portarlington. That’s a total of just 84 council houses with a waiting list in Laois of almost 1,800 households and growing. At the current rate it will be decades before people are housed.
He said the income threshold in Laois for social housing for a family of 4 is just €26,750 meaning those over this low limit need an affordable housing purchase scheme.
Dep Stanley added that a plentiful supply of housing doesn’t guarantee lower house prices. In 2006, over 90,000 houses were built and prices still sky rocketed.
"We need to moderate prices, and a plentiful supply of social housing and affordable housing will help to achieve this.
"We need to amend Part V of the Planning and Development Act to provide for 10% of new developments for affordable housing, with proper planning to ensure affordable housing units are dispersed throughout housing developments.
"There needs to be investment. Irish pension funds invested abroad could be used to finance social and affordable housing here.
"Another option is to use the credit union movement which has €8 – €9 billion to invest in projects and are interested in investing in housing.
"Progress has been at a snail’s pace and what we now need is for the housing programme to be accelerated dramatically,” said the TD.