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Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil housing agreement ‘not sufficient to deal with housing crisis’ – Ó Broin

4 May, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin has said that the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil agreement on housing ‘is not sufficient to deal with the housing and homeless crisis.’ Deputy Ó Broin has also called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to provide more detail on the vague proposals announced.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Broin said:

“After nine weeks of talks, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have managed to come up with only six short bullet points on the housing. This is not sufficient to deal with the housing and homeless crisis.

 “What we need is a detailed, workable plan that can be enacted immediately to deal with this crisis.

“They say they will increase the supply of social and affordable housing. The real question is how many units are to be provided, when, at what cost and by whom? People want to know whether these units will be in addition to the targets set out in Alan Kelly’s failed Social Housing Strategy 2020

‘Sinn Féin has set out an alternative local authority and housing association led programme of acquisition and construction significantly larger in scope that that of the outgoing Government. Anything short of this level of investment in public housing will not be sufficient.

‘The specific mention of increasing the supply of Housing Assistance Payment tenancies suggests that the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil agreement is wedded to the same over-reliance on the private sector that has caused so much difficulty for the strategy of the outgoing government.

“Likewise the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil agreement says measures will be taken to protect the family? What will these measures be and when will they be implemented?

‘Sinn Féin has proposed legislation to cap mortgage interest rates, strengthen the role of MABS, and end the bank veto in cases where the family home is involved regardless of when the arrears began. There is also a need to revisit the Land and Conveyancing Act 2013. These are the minimum measures required to address the growing number of evictions and repossessions.

‘While proposals to increase rent subsidy levels are positive these must be accompanied by rent certainty linking rent increases to the consumer price index if they are to have the desired effect of providing those in the private rental sector in their homes.

“With families becoming homelessness on a daily basis, housing as a result of spiralling rents and rising home repossessions there is a need for housing and homelessness to be made an immediate priority. On the basis of what Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have agreed to it seems that we are a long way off from the kinds of policy changes required to stem the rising tide of homelessness and increase the supply of social and affordable housing.’ 

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