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New government must work with Credit Union to build housing - Tóibín

18 March, 2016

Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD has described the Fine Gael/Labour government’s failure to respond to a Credit Union plan to build 26,000 houses as a disgrace and a dereliction of duty. He said it was the responsibility of government to engage with bodies that were making credible proposals to tackle the housing crisis and end homelessness. He went on to state that any new government formed must engage with the plan as part of a solution to the crisis.

Deputy Tóibín said;

"Last October the Irish League of Credit Unions released a plan to use five billion euro to build 26,000 homes by 2021. The plan outlined how this money could be kept of balance sheet and not add to the states borrowings. All TDs received a copy of the plan.

“I was very impressed by what the Credit Unions had come up with and by their genuine desire to use their fund to invest in construction which would have a massive benefit to many communities. This would also have a number of economic benefits from the creation of thousands of construction jobs.

“It now emerges that in the four months the Fine Gael/Labour government remained in office after the plan was released, no response was made by them. It is an utterly unacceptable situation that in the midst of a very serious and damaging housing crisis a government would ignore such a significant plan from a very reputable organisation.

“This is yet another example of how the outgoing government failed to act to tackle the housing crisis. They failed to build housing, they failed to tackle high rents, they directly increased homelessness through their cuts to rent supplement and other payments. It is quite clear despite all the spin, housing was not a priority for the last government.

“Any new government formed must make housing a priority with a full cabinet position. The Credit Union’s plan cannot be allowed to gather dust any longer and other major investment is needed also. Sinn Féin outlined before the election how 100,000 social and affordable homes could be build over 15 years, this is the only way we will resolve the devastating housing crisis we now find ourselves in." 

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