Rebuilding Ireland has made the Housing crisis worse – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the government to admit that Rebuilding Ireland isn’t working and to make a commitment to double capital investment in social and affordable housing in Budget 2019.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Rebuilding Ireland was launched at a time when we thought the housing and homeless crisis couldn’t get much worse.
“The plan contained targets, action points, deadlines, and outlined what department and agencies would be responsible for doing what.
“At the time, Rebuilding was published in July 2016 we voiced our concerns that the plan was too dependent on the private sector to deliver housing solutions.
“We were not wrong. A new Minister appointed just over a year ago did nothing to alleviate the plans dependence on the private market. This is evident across all five pillars of the plan.
“The government insists the plan is working. The facts speak for themselves.
“Homelessness has increased by 50% since the plan was published. This includes a 63% increase in the number of homeless children and a 54% increase in pensioner homelessness.
“The delivery of real social homes remains glacial. Only 11,190 social homes were delivered over the last two years, housing only 12% of the housing waiting list. This is despite a cross party Dáil committee confirming that at a minimum 10,000 real social homes were needed every year.
“Despite numerous tax breaks and incentives like Help to Buy and the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund, housebuilding remains painfully slow and affordable homes are a pipedream for many of the population.
“The rental sector is broken. Nationally rents have increased on average by 22% in two years. The rent pressure zone legislation is failing to curtail rising rents.
“Zero affordable rental homes have been delivered and there is no affordable rental target for 2019.
“The government has not published a vacant home strategy. The ad hoc programmes announced, Buy and Renew, Repair and Lease and Housing Agency only delivered 70, nine and 382 new homes respectively.
“This is not good enough. Sinn Féin has a plan that would tackle the housing the crisis. We would double capital investment in social and affordable housing. We would introduce index linked rent certainty measure coupled with providing greater protections to tenants against eviction.
“The government has a real opportunity to change direction with the upcoming budget. It would be disastrous if it continued pursuing the failed policy that is Rebuilding Ireland.”