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Varadkar’s Housing Plan has to go – Ó Broin

15 January, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to “scrap his failing housing plan” and to “make 2019 the year we start to seriously tackle the housing and homelessness crisis”.

Launching a Billboard outside Government Buildings today, Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Rebuilding Ireland has failed. There are almost 13,000 adults and children in emergency accommodation and sleeping rough. There are 130,000 households in need of social housing. There are tens of thousands of people unable to rent or buy a home and thousands more struggling to afford their rent or mortgages.

“The reason is because Fine Gael, just like Fianna Fáil, are failing to invest in public housing to meet social and affordable housing need while at the same time over relying on the private sector.

“Last year, when we tabled our motion of no confidence in Minister Eoghan Murphy, we made it clear that both he and the Governments failing housing plan had to go if there was to be any chance of tackling the housing crisis.

“It now appears that the Taoiseach is concerned than his colleagues’ failures are reflecting badly on him. There are ever growing murmurings from Fine Gael backbenchers and cabinet sources that the Taoiseach’s relationship with Minister Murphy has soured and that the Minister for Housing is set to be moved.

“Replacing Eoghan Murphy, but leaving Rebuilding Ireland in place, will change nothing. Rebuilding Ireland is as much Leo Varadkar’s housing plan as it is Minister Murphy’s. Its failures are as much, if not more so, the Taoiseach’s failings as that of his cabinet colleague.

“It says a lot about the Taoiseach that he is more concerned about the damage the housing crisis is doing to his reputation that the hardship it is causing ever greater numbers of people. 

“He should scrap his failing housing plan and implement the alternatives being put forward by the opposition and housing policy experts and NGOs. 

“An Taoiseach could make 2019 the year we start to seriously tackle the housing and homelessness crisis. He needs to accept that Rebuilding Ireland has failed. He must start to work with the opposition to put in place a real plan that invests in a level of public housing provision commensurate with social and affordable housing need.

“If he fails to do so, he will face ever growing public anger and protest at his Government’s failure.” 

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