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Empty rhetoric from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will not solve the housing crisis – Ó Broin

27 March, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised Minister Simon Coveney and Deputy Barry Cowen's “empty rhetoric” on the housing crisis. The Dublin Mid-West TD said that “ending the housing crisis demands real investment in social and affordable housing not hollow spin and back-of-the envelope proposals”.

Deputy O Broin said:

“Today, Minister Coveney has claimed that he is making progress in tackling the housing crisis, despite the fact that homelessness continues to grow and the pace of house construction is glacial. 

“He claims to have provided 18,000 social housing solutions last year. However, of these, the actual increase in social housing stock owned by Councils and Housing Associations is just 2,204 new units and 2300 refurbished long term vacant units.

“The Minister also claimed that 15,256 homes were completed last year. Independent experts have challenged the method of calculating these figures and claim that the real number is closer to 7,532.

“Despite the fact that there are 198,000 vacant homes across the state, the Minister is only planning to bring 6,600 into use over the next six years. Minister Coveney is only targeting 3% of the vacant housing stock demonstrating once again his lack of urgency in addressing the housing crisis. 

“Desperate to get in on the act, Deputy Barry Cowen announced his latest proposals today for a new housing agency. This is typical ‘back of the envelope’ stuff from Fianna Fáil with no detail and no substance. 

“The solutions to the housing crisis were outlined in a cross party Dáil Housing and Homeless Committee Report last July. We need an increase in social housing stock of 10,000 units a year. We need real action to tackle home repossessions and spiralling rents to reduce the flow of families into homelessness. We need Government-led affordable purchase and rental housing and we need to reduce the cost of providing private homes to increase affordability.

“Given that Fianna Fail created the housing crisis and six years of Fine Gael-led government have made it worse, it is hardly surprising that these parties do not have the policies to end the crisis.” 

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