Site closures could mean loss of 10,000 new homes - CIF

Updated / Monday, 22 Mar 2021 10:08

Tom Parlon appealed to the Government to let the industry know about a possible reopening before 5 April

The Director General of the Construction Industry Federation has warned that Ireland will lose out on thousands of homes being built this year because of the construction shutdown over the last few months.

Speaking to RTÉ's This Week programme, Tom Parlon said with sites closed down for 13 or 14 weeks it could mean a loss of 10,000 houses as it is "going to be slower" to get back up and running.

"That is five or six thousand couples who had secured mortgages. That has all been put on ice," Mr Parlon. 

Mr Parlon appealed to the Government to let the industry know about a possible reopening before 5 April, as he said the uncertainty has resulted in some people leaving the country to find work elsewhere. 

He said reopening construction is about bringing around 40,000 people back into the workplace and it is a small mobility compared to schools.

He said the Health Service Executive has been monitoring workplaces since last September and construction sites in particular.


Read more:
Latest coronavirus stories


Mr Parlon said the amount of outbreaks is "negligible" with very low rates and that Ireland is the only country in Europe that has closed its construction.

"It is deemed to be safe and is largely outdoors and a young workforce," he said. 

He said the advice to constructions workers is clear that where possible to travel to work alone to reduce the risks.

He said what is really frustrating is that those who invested in the extra transportation to get workers to work safely are closed down, and it is costing them money with vans sitting in yards.