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Minister Murphy still failing working people on affordable housing – Ó Broin

7 December, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused the Minister for Housing “of not understanding the pressure people are under” and “failing working people on affordable housing”.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“During questions to the Minister today, I asked him to outline what his government’s definition is of affordable rental and affordable purchase housing, what the targets are for 2018 and when these units will be delivered.

“Unfortunately, instead of providing straight answers to these every simple questions, Minister Murphy gave a glib pre-scripted response on funding commitments for private housing delivery that have no guarantee of affordability.

“The Minister clearly does not understand the pressure working people are under when it comes to housing. Rents are increasing as are house prices. I don’t think the Minister appreciates the level of need out there. The housing needs of working households earning between €35,000 and €75,000 are simply not being met.

“The Minister’s reliance on increasing supply alone to solve the problem is baffling.  Increasing supply will not fix the problem unless there are guarantees of affordability.  

“Minister Murphy cannot guarantee affordability when he depends on private developers to cater for it. Schemes such as the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund will make life easier for developers on housing schemes across the state, but with no assurance of genuine affordable homes being delivered in return for tax payer funded infrastructure.

“Overall, the government is pumping over €1.1 billion in subsidies, tax breaks and loans to developers with no guarantee of affordability.  On the other hand, a paltry €25m is being set aside to fund an affordable housing scheme with 650 homes over two years that we have yet to see the detail of.

“This is not good enough. The government made commitments in both the Programme for Government and Rebuilding Ireland to roll out affordable rental and purchase schemes.

“The Minister has said the announcement of such a scheme is imminent. We will await the detail of it but on the basis of what I heard today I will not hold my breath.” 

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