Labour bill is a comprehensive response to housing challenges

18 July 2016

The Labour Party spokesperson on Housing Jan O’Sullivan today launched the Party’s Social and Affordable Housing Bill 2016.

Among the measures included in the legislation are:

  • The implementation of the recommendations of the Kenny report
  • The remit of NAMA to be broadened and for the organisation to be rebranded as the National Housing Development and Finance Agency
  • The professionalisation of the landlord sector
  • The linking of rent to CPI

Jan O’Sullivan said: “The residential property market has been effectively dysfunctional since the financial markets crashed in 2008. Construction activity has been nowhere near adequate to meet the needs of the country. As a result, the supply of housing for first-time buyers, young families and people on lower incomes has fallen well short of what is needed.

“In that regard, I am pleased to hear today, that the Government seems to be planning to take up the proposal that the Labour Party put in our election manifesto to establish a ‘Save to Buy’ scheme.

“Added to the challenges, was that as a result of the collapse in public finances we experienced, the state was unfortunately not in a position to adequately invest in public housing. It wasn’t until the previous Government were able to announce a housing investment programme of €3.8b in 2014, that any significant progress was made, and while we are beginning to see the positive impact of that investment, now that the state coffers are in far better health, it is clear that we need to do more.

“This legislation is a comprehensive response to the many challenges that we face in providing affordable homes for working families, and provides a framework for the construction of more social housing by the state and the various state agencies.

Willie Penrose said: “This Bill came about as a result of a process of engagement with interested parties and stakeholders in the housing sector.

“There is no Party that is as committed to the principle of providing decent housing to all families, as the Labour Party. As far as we are concerned, the time for pious platitudes has come and gone. What we now need is action that will deliver housing for young families in communities around the country. The Bill that we are publishing today provides a blueprint for doing precisely that.”

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