Ó Broin introduces Real Social Housing Bill
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has today introduced a Bill to create a new legal definition of social housing. The Real Social Housing Bill 2019 provides for a clear distinction between long term social housing provided by local authorities and approved housing bodies and short term social housing supports through private rental subsidies including HAP and RAS.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Traditionally, social housing was understood as long term tenancies provided by local authorities and approved housing bodies. However, legislation introduced in 2010 and 2014 broadened the definition to include private rental tenancies subsidised by the state.
“These changes have had a profound impact on social housing policy and the wider housing system.
“This led to the casualisation of social housing equating long term, secure council tenancies with short term, insecure HAP and RAS tenancies.
“They pushed 100,000 households into the subsidised private rental sector, driving up prices, and crowding out renters and buyers not eligible for state support
“They have also proved incredibly expensive to the taxpayer as demonstrated in the 2017 Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Report.
“The Real Social Housing Bill 2019 introduced in the Dáil today seeks to amend the legal definition of social housing to only accommodation provided directly by local authorities and approved housing bodies that meets tenants long term housing need.
“It further defines schemes such as HAP and RAS as short term social housing supports that should continue to be available to social housing applications while they wait for real social housing.
“This proposed change is not just a technical amendment to the law. It is a complete re-definition of social housing which would end the overreliance on expensive, insecure private rental subsidies in favour of secure and affordable standard social housing.”
Note: Please see the Real Social Housing Bill attached