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Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil continue with failing housing policy – Ó Broin

10 October, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said the poor Budget 2018 Housing measures show that the government and Fianna Fáil do not understand the scale of the housing crisis. The figures announced today mask the fact that no additional social housing units on top of existing Rebuilding Ireland targets will be delivered. There was no capital investment in affordable housing announced and no mention of a much needed vacant homes tax. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Despite making over 52 ‘policy’ announcements since his appointment, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has not delivered any additional housing units above those already committed to by his predecessor Simon Coveney. 

“When the Taoiseach appointed Minister Murphy to his new role, he stated that the Minister would look at three key policy areas including, ‘a greater quantum of social housing build, a vacant homes tax and measures to encourage landlords to remain in or enter the rental market’.

“Based on this brief and on the Budget measures announced today, the Minister for Housing has failed miserably. There is no change to the overall social housing target today. The existing government target for 2018 is 5,869 real social housing units. This was from the Coveney era. The Budget document today gives a figure of 5,900 units; no additional social housing delivery has been secured by Minister Murphy.

“Despite there being between 90,000 and 180,000 vacant homes across the state, Budget 2018 has delivered nothing to increase access to these much needed houses. The Repair and Lease scheme budget has not been increased. There is no increase in Buy and Renew Budget. Crucially, there is no vacant homes tax.

“The Budget’s biggest failing is the lack of any measures to provide any affordable rental or purchase housing. The government has no target for delivering affordable housing. The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund is down. There is no guarantee that the Home Building Finance Ireland will deliver any homes in 2018, let alone affordable homes. 

“As for Fianna Fáil, Deputy Barry Cowen has once again lost a significant public policy battle with Fine Gael. After marching his troops up to the top of the hill by rightfully demanding extra investment in council housing delivery, he has had to scuttle back down again. 

“Fianna Fáil has spent the past year criticising government housing policy and patting themselves on the back for council housing delivery decades ago. They had the power to influence this budget and failed to exert any effect on the government’s ongoing failing housing policy.” 

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