The building of homes must be prioritised whenever it is safe to begin reopening the construction sector, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator John Cummins, Fine Gael spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage, is highlighting the impact the current closure of sites will have on housing supply this year.
Senator Cummins said: “It is extremely positive that certain construction sites such as those involved in the provision of health and educational facilities, as well as social housing, have been deemed ‘essential’ and have been allowed to continue.
“However, we must remember that the housing needs of our population can only be met by the delivery of a mix of housing options including housing built for the private purchase or the rental market. Each unit delivered, frees up stock for others in turn.
“I strongly believe that if it is deemed necessary to have a phased reopening of the construction sector as a way of reducing the level of travel and movement of workers, then residential must be prioritised over commercial activity. I hope consideration can be given to this proposal as early as possible.
“The construction site closures have had a serious economic impact, particularly for the 222,000 people employed in the sector.
“However of real urgency is the need to supply homes to meet demand. Every housing unit, whether social or private, delivered in this state contributes to resolving our housing shortage crisis. When the construction industry opens up again, we really must prioritise residential construction sites.”