Build Social and Affordable Homes, Taoiseach

19 June 2018

Reacting to the Summer Economic Statement, Labour Party Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said that it we are unlikely to see an affordable housing scheme from Fine Gael in the upcoming budget.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“It is clear from the Summer Economic Statement that the Government has no intention of allocating enough money in the Budget later this year to make any real difference to help those who cannot afford to rent or buy a home.

“It seems they would rather put money away for a possible future rainy day while thousands of “people, including over 3,000 children, have no secure roof over their heads to keep the rain out right now.

Spending public money to build homes for those who need them will not inflate the economy and it will be a much better investment than transferring millions of euros to private landlords, hotels and B&Bs.

“There is a once off opportunity to use the 700 plus publicly-owned sites to build homes for ordinary low and middle income workers and their families.

“We call on the Government to:

1. Ensure that these sites are kept in public ownership.
2. End the policy of parcelling them out in a way that the largest proportion is used to build for-profit housing that is out of the reach of those on average incomes.
3. Provide an up-front capital investment to kick-start social and affordable use of suitable sites where there is an acute housing need, particularly in our cities.
4. Include both affordable rental and affordable purchase options the construction of which would be tendered directly by the State, Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies.

“There’s no point in giving lip-service to solving the Housing crisis.

“The economy is now healthy after a lot of heavy lifting.

“€2.5 billion in this year’s budget would build 10,000 homes on publicly-owned sites.  What is needed is the political will to make it happen.”

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