Budget 2016 insufficient to tackle housing crisis – Ellis
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson
Dessie Ellis TD has expressed his disappointment due to the failure of the
government to use the Budget 2016 to kick start a major investment in social
housing. He was responding to plans by the state increase housing funding by just
56 million euro more in capital funding for housing.
Deputy Ellis TD said:
“This is a particularly poor effort from the government when you take the time to look beyond the spin. The reality is that while the government claim to be investing large sums in housing, they are only approaching a return to the funding we saw before they took office; a time when there was already a housing crisis in effect.
“We have over 100,000 families in need of housing in the state; nearly 1400 children in emergency accommodation; rents have gone up by 35% since 2011, outstripping Celtic tiger levels. We need a level of investment that this government is obviously unwilling to commit to and so the crisis will continue.
“Any increase in funding is welcome but at these levels they are only attempting to manage the crisis rather than truly beginning to end it.
“Sinn Féin proposed an increase of 300 million euro in Capital Investment for 2016 and we have shown how it could be achieved. This is a necessary level of investment to tackle such a large problem with such severe human costs. The government announcement amounts to just 5% of what we believe was needed.
“An affordable housing pilot scheme is welcome, but we need more details. This money was promised in the last Budget but never materialised. We hope this is not repeated.
“We also want to see more details on the proposals by NAMA to provide 20,000 houses for commercial sale or rent. Given the fact that NAMA struggled for nearly 4 years to provide just less than 1400 units for social leasing, I want to know why these properties are not being prioritised for use for social housing.”