Lack of affordable homes leaving families in limbo – Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North, Denise Mitchell, says working and middle-class families across the State are being left in limbo as they earn too much to be considered for local authority housing but not enough to cover the cost of extortionate rents.
Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday afternoon, Sinn Féin’s Children & Youth Affairs Spokesperson said:
“This housing crisis has been coming down the tracks for the last decade, yet the response of Government has been atrocious.
“We have 3,000 homeless children living in emergency accommodation. These children have no certainty when it comes to going to school or being near their friends. Most cannot even sit down at a table with their families for a meal when they get home – the lack of kitchen facilities means they are often living on takeaways. At the same time we have houses and apartments sitting empty all across this city and this state. These homes must be brought back into use.
Deputy Mitchell highlighted how current income caps mean that many families who cannot afford private rents are also earning above the threshold to be considered for local authority housing:
“One of the areas that we cannot ignore is the families who earn more than the housing list cap, but not enough to get a mortgage that would allow them purchase a home.
“They are in a ‘catch 22’ situation and this is why we need a new affordable housing programme to allow people access private rental and private purchase housing at affordable prices.
“There is only one way that we are going to get out of this mess, and that is by hugely increasing the amount of social and affordable housing stock. We can tinker around the edges all we like, but unless there is large-scale development – coupled with bringing vacant properties back into use – then this crisis cannot be solved.”