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Government housing strategy not sufficient to tackle housing crisis in Capital- Cllr Ní Dhálaigh

26 November, 2014

Dublin Sinn Féin housing spokesperson and chair of Dublin City Council housing SPC has cautiously welcomed the additional funding announced today by Minister Alan Kelly’s but has stated that it is just not enough to tackle the housing crisis we currently face.

Cllr Ní Dhálaigh said;

“I am dismayed that the new housing strategy only promises an extra 36 million euro a year towards the housing crisis. This plan is not the major step the Minister claims it is and will not provide sufficient housing to deal with the crisis. The numbers do not add up and are being misrepresented as major increases in spending.

The current housing building budget for 2014 is one billion euro less than it was in 2008 and  this strategy means the budget for the next six years will on average be only 36 million euro more than this year. Any increase is welcome but an extra 36 million a year will not solve the crisis.

The government figures also vary wildly. In October they said 2.2 billion euro would deliver 10,000 homes in 2 years, now they claims 3.8 billion euro will deliver 35,000. How has the average cost of a home gone from 220,000 euro to 108,000 euro in the space of a month when everyone else is reporting prices going up?

“The government also want to massage the housing need statistics by designating Housing Assistant Payment recipients as appropriately housed. There are about 74,000 people currently on Rent Supplement nearly all of whom are on the housing waiting lists. The government’s strategy is to take these people off the lists by changing the name of their scheme and pretending that’s appropriate housing. It is not.

“Private rent is currently in a completely unstable situation and many rent supplement households have lost their homes in recent times. The government plan is to continue to spend over 330 million euro on private rent subsidies and do nothing to house these families.

This is a missed opportunity for the government to really tackle housing problems. Instead we have bombastic claims which extend well beyond the lifetime of this government but in reality represent less spending over the next 6 years than has happened in the preceding 6 years. This strategy is only an exercise in spin.

We also completely reject a return to the Public private Partnership model which utterly failed thousands of people during the boom period and left them in the some of the worst housing in the state.

The Minster had committed to meeting with a cross party delegation of Dublin City Councillors to discuss the housing crisis but this meeting was cancelled. I am again calling on Minister Kelly to meet with DCC councillors to discuss the serious housing crisis in our capital city.”

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