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Brian Stanley T.D. calls for public housing programme to replace payments to landlords

24 September, 2014 - by Brian Stanley TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Local Government Brian Stanley TD has called on the Government to begin an extensive programme of public housing. He said that this would prove to be both a more economic and effective solution to the current housing crisis. He was speaking during a debate on a Sinn Féin Private Members motion.

Deputy Stanley said: “Not only has the Residential Accommodation Scheme failed to provide a safeguard against eviction, it has also led to a situation in which the real beneficiaries are private landlords. Leasing and rent subsidies are only short term measures, but now they are at the centre of the government’s long term plan for social housing.

“The economics of RAS and social leasing are wrong, and it is clear that investing in social housing would have been a far better option both for the public finances, and for those in need of housing. After ten years leasing the local authority has not added to its stock, and the tenant has to find a new home. They have also wasted lots of taxpayers’ money paying rent to landlords.

“There is also the problem of vacant and derelict houses that were previously local authority houses, which are clearly visible around estates throughout the country, and which not only constitute a waste of housing, but are also a blight on the landscape and often a focus for anti-social activity. Many of them were bought by investors hoping to cash in on the rental market.

The key to addressing the current housing crisis is not to embark on another speculative led private housing boom – although obviously the private sector has a key role to play where there is proven demand. A large part of the solution must be a new local authority house building programme.”

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