Investment in housing is only solution to crisis – Ellis
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said today said that the only solution to the social housing crisis is a significant long term investment by the state in building housing. He made his comments as he launched a Sinn Féin motion which calls on the government to introduce a suite of measures to tackle the crisis including a 1 billion euro house building programme, rent controls, Local Authority trusts and a deposit retention scheme.
Deputy Ellis continued;
"The measures included in this motion would represent an important step in the government recognising the full scale of the crisis we face and the need for a radical change in direction to address it.
“We have identified 1 billion euro of the Strategic Investment Fund which we believe should be put into use immediately to build 6600 homes for those in need.
“This would only require a simply change to legislation to make the fund accessible for social investment.
“Constructing 6600 new homes will create thousands of jobs, increase vat revenue, drive down rents and house many thousands of people currently in cramped subsidised private accommodation or in emergency accommodation.
“If 6600 people were taken off Rent Supplement from this investment it would save 148 million euro over 5 years.
“Due to a shortage of housing rents have spiralled out of control. Dublin rents are up 10% in 12 months and 26 over the last 3 years. Rents across the state have risen steadily.
“Linking rents to the Consumer Price Index and the quality of the accommodation would help stop the flow of people from rented accommodation into homelessness.
“A Deposit Retention Scheme is also desperately needed to protect tenants who cannot afford to have a month’s rent unfairly held when they are seeking new accommodation.
“We need to turn back the tide on government policy which has left over 100,000 in housing need, 10,000 seeking services from homeless charities and hundreds sleeping rough. We need to provide housing and we need to start now.”