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Minister Coveney must increase the supply of social and affordable housing – Ó Broin

2 June, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Eoin Ó Broin, Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, has called on Minister Coveney to increase the supply of social and affordable housing. The call came during an exchange at the Dáil Housing and Homeless Committee.

Speaking today as the Minister appeared before the Housing and Homeless Committee, Deputy Ó Broin said:

“I welcome the Minister’s restatement of his commitment to seek real solutions to the housing crisis and to listen to suggestions from other parties.

“At the centre of our current housing and homeless crisis is a long term failure by the state to invest in social housing.

“This has resulted in increased waiting lists and waiting times for local authority housing and increased homelessness. It has also negatively hit private renters and first time buyers by adding extra demand for properties in those sectors from people who should be living in the social housing sector.

“The social housing strategy that Minister Coveney has inherited from his predecessor will not address the underlying causes of the crisis. The strategy depends on the private sector to deliver 80% of the social housing units over the next 6 years. This simply won't work.

“The Minister must reverse the underinvestment in social housing and significantly increase funding to local authorities and approved housing bodies. The Minister must also redefine the concept of public housing to include a broader range of income and tenure types in local authority and approved housing body housing projects.

“If Minister Coveney is serious about tackling the housing crisis, his Action Plan which is due in August must be radical and must adopt a completely new direction to that of his predecessors in the last number of Governments. 

“This will require policy changes in social housing supply; addressing rising rents and home repossession; utilising vacant units; and ensuring that people who are homeless have access to high quality services and remain in emergency accommodation for the shortest time possible.” 

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