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Government turns their back on those in housing need as ‘housing budget’ fails to materialise – Ó Broin

9 October, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of “turning their backs on those in social and affordable housing need” as the greatly anticipated Housing Budget “fails to materialise”. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Despite the hyped up Fianna Fáil rhetoric that Budget 2019 would be a Housing Budget, the figures indicate that only a paltry additional €120m has been allocated for capital investment in housing for 2019 above existing commitments.

“This will only deliver just 490 additional new social homes on top of what was already committed to. The government real social housing target for 2019 is now only 7,900 and falls well short of what is needed

“We need a target of at least 10,000 new social homes very year. Which Sinn Féin has provided for in our Alternative Budget. 

“Meanwhile, 19,430 subsidised private rental tenancies will be used to meet social housing need. 70% of the governments social housing targets for 2019 are subsidised private units, once again confirming their over reliance on the private rental sector.

“As for the €89m announced for affordable housing via the site services fund, €75m of this is carry over from 2018. This means just €14m in additional funding is being allocated for affordable housing in 2019. Despite all the boasting from Fianna Fáil in recent days, all they will have delivered in their budget negotiations is a paltry 350 affordable homes above what was already committed by Government.

“The budget also contained paltry increases for traveller specific accommodation and adaptation grants. There was also no mention of a latent defects fund to assist those living in badly built properties bought during the boom years. 

“The Government also ignored the needs of struggling renters. They have granted an unnecessary tax relief to landlords while doing nothing to reduce rents or halt rent increases.

“This Budget is just a continuation of the failed housing policy of Rebuilding Ireland and the government’s over reliance on the private rented sector in particular to deliver insecure social homes.

“Today, they could have sided with the tens of thousands of people unable to access secure or affordable housing. They could have stood with the homeless, those on Council waiting lists or those struggling to rent or buy. Instead they turned their backs on those in need making it clear that the cosy coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are unwilling or unable to tackle the housing crisis.” 

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