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"Housing for All" is another empty promise - Violet-Anne Wynne TD

28 September, 2021 - by Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Clare’s Sinn Féin TD Violet-Anne Wynne has expressed fears that the latest national housing policy ‘Housing for All’ does not include comprehensive enough measures to fix the dysfunctional housing market and sector. 

Teachta Wynne said: 

“News reports this week have flagged the increasingly drastic situation faced by the people of Ireland regarding accessing secure, affordable housing. This is impacting both a generation of individuals looking to get a leg onto the property ladder, but are unable to do so because of soaring prices, and it is impacting renters and those trying to access social housing. Everyone is affected.  

“This crisis is the net result of successive housing policies that have failed to deliver the changes needed to serve the people of this island. ‘Housing for All’ sadly, is more of the same. 

“House prices in Clare have risen by almost 17.5% over the past 12 months - the third highest increase in the country. The price of a 3-bed property has increased by 23% over the last year, while 4 beds are averaging €290,000. This is out of the range of affordability for most Irish families, that’s the reality.

“For renters, monthly rents are skyrocketing, and the lack of security of tenure is meaning that many renters are being served notices to quit and can’t find alternative accommodation. As of Monday, there were 26 properties to rent across Clare, none of which in North Clare.

“According to the most recent census, the ‘net household need’ which is the total number of households that qualify for social housing supports that are not receiving it, is the second highest it’s been since 1993. This means despite all of the increased investment in housing budget – more and more people are unable to interact in the housing market.

“If you are unlucky enough be deemed ineligible for social housing supports, it means you are left in limbo. The Government have failed to undertake the much-needed review of the Income Threshold, which is resulting in families being left out to dry, with zero access to support in an extremely competitive market.

“Meanwhile, the numbers of those accessing homelessness services is also spiraling upward. The national number of people registered as homeless has increased for the third month in a row this month, up to 8,212, which includes more than 2,000 children, according to latest Department of Housing figures. 

“Ironically, Minister O’Brien announced the ‘Housing for All’ policy with the audacity to expect people to have faith in its ability to solve the housing crisis. Yes, it is evident that they are somewhat listening to the people on the ground as we know the previous housing policy had no mention of homelessness while this policy seeks to eliminate it. However, if the political will is genuinely there to make real the pie-in-the-sky targets set in this policy remains to be see.

“In 2020, Minister O’Brien committed to delivering 9,500 social housing builds as the first year of ‘Housing for All’. So far this year only 2,433 have been delivered. Covid-19 is not an excuse. We were in the middle of the pandemic when this target was set – and still, the government is falling short of its own targets by more than 50%.

“He’s making a mockery of the people by expecting them to believe that ‘Housing for All’ is going to be the panacea to the damage caused by decades of prioritising vested interests, vulture-funds and property developers. We’re only at the beginning of the implementation period and it’s already proving to be unfeasible. The people of Ireland have suffered and struggled along for far too long and this is the legacy of bad government, of which 25% are landlords themselves, this is why the people want change. They want a party with vision, not ignorance, and the people know that we in Sinn Féin have the will to ensure housing is no longer a political football for the elite."

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