FF conversion on affordable housing welcome but too late
Labour spokesperson on Affordable Housing, Joanna Tuffy, has said that a report in today’s Irish Times that Fianna Fáil will pursue an affordable housing plan in their manifesto is welcome, but has come too late.
Ms Tuffy said:
“For the last two years the Labour Party has advocated for a State Agency to drive the delivery of affordable housing. It has been clear for some time that the private market has failed to deliver the number of new homes needed at affordable prices.
“Reports today that Fianna Fáil will adopt the same approach is welcome but comes too late to make any difference this year. In fact, it wouldn’t have any impact until after the next election if it is to be part of their manifesto.
“Supporting Fine Gael for the last 20 months, Fianna Fáil could have ensured such a housing body was set up and active as Labour has consistently proposed.
“Instead Fianna Fáil were happy to support the Government, and their only idea before the last Budget was tax cuts for developers.
“It is quite clear that any strategy to tackle this crisis must also include a national Affordable Housing Scheme. We have heard mutterings from Government on this over the past year but as yet, no concrete plans. In the meantime local authorities are giving planning permissions for new developments without any conditions on affordable housing.
“With supply at an all-time low, the State needs pick up the slack from where private developers have failed. There are simply not enough homes being built.
“In NAMA, we have an existing body with the resources and expertise to drive the development of affordable housing. It’s time now for action, not just leaked plans.”